World Bank Declares ECOWAS Funding Agreement Effective for Digital Transformation Program

ECOWAS receives approval for funding agreement to boost digital integration, broadband access, and employment opportunities.

On March 6, 2024, the World Bank officially declared the ECOWAS Commission had met all the conditions for the effectiveness of a Financing Agreement with the International Development Association. This declaration of effectiveness paves the way for the disbursement of a grant ded-icated to implementing key components of the Digital Transformation for Africa /Western Africa Regional Digital Integration (DTfA/WARDIP) Program.

The objective of the DTfA/WARDIP program is to increase broadband access and usage and ad-vance integration of digital markets in Western Africa. The program is expected to contribute to bridging the digital divide by making internet services more affordable, promoting competition among service providers, and improving the underlying infrastructure. These efforts are aimed at unlocking new opportunities for employment, improving access to services for 1.3 million individuals, ensuring inclusivity including 50% women, and people with disabilities.

The ECOWAS Commission is a key implementing partner of the program, alongside The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, the African Union Commission, and the Smart Africa Secre-tariat. With a grant of USD 10.5 million allocated for a five (5) year period, the goal of the Com-mission within the program is to facilitate the creation of an integrated regional digital market. Additionally, it is to foster cross-country collaboration and support the development and securi-ty of digital transformation initiatives in Western Africa.

DTfA/WARDIP aligns with ECOWAS’s vision for the digital economy sector, which is to position ICTs as a driving force for economic growth and inclusion, by pursuing efforts to build a single digital market for a future of shared and sustainable prosperity in ECOWAS region. The grant will fund various activities aimed at strengthening the legal, regulatory, and institutional frame-works within the telecommunications and digital economy sector. In addition, it will also sup-port ongoing regional initiatives focused on facilitating the deployment of resilient international network infrastructure. Furthermore, the grant will complement existing coordination efforts geared towards enhancing cyber resilience in the region and support the development and pro-motion of digital financial services, e-commerce, and digital government services all which are integral for promoting regional integration.

More News