CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 28, 2023/ — The U.S. Commercial Service and the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) have announced a new strategic collaboration in a move to drive digital transformation across Africa.
Unveiled on the sidelines of the Africa Tech Festival held in Cape Town, South Africa, this collaboration paves the way for a series of dialogues on how U.S. digital innovation can support development goals across Africa.
The discussions will focus on key themes such as embracing new technologies, improving internet access, enhancing skills, and creating a regulatory environment conducive to innovation. Both parties will explore how African governments can collaborate with American technology firms to grow their economies and how U.S. businesses can tap into new opportunities in Africa’s emerging markets.
Ashley Ndir, senior U.S. Commercial Liaison to the African Development Bank, emphasized, “We are at a turning point in Africa’s technological advancement. By bridging insights from the U.S. private sector with Africa’s vibrant markets, we aim to drive innovation and economic growth. This partnership is a testament to that mission.”
Head of ICT Operations Nicholas Williams from the African Development Bank said, “Africa has made significant investments in pivotal infrastructure and policy enhancements to create an innovative digital economy. As Africa’s premier development finance institution, the African Development Bank will help push Africa’s digital boundaries even further by forging strategic relations, building on historical investments and, more importantly, tapping into the energy of our young population, who are digital natives. We value the insights that the U.S. private sector may bring.”
The initiative builds on the African Development Bank’s $2 billion investment in digital infrastructure, which includes regional and national broadband development, creating favourable policy environments for private sector investments, scaling digital skills, and nurturing innovative enterprises. The Bank’s efforts have reduced the cost of internet access, enhanced digital literacy, and fostered a conducive business and policy environment. It will also benefit from the U.S. Commercial Service’s experience in fostering international trade. This collaboration promises to champion the digital transformation in Africa, aiming for a future where technology empowers growth and prosperity. With this partnership, both the U.S. Commercial Service and the African Development Bank reaffirm their commitment to not only elevate digital capabilities in Africa but also to ensure that the continent’s potential is fully realized in the digital era.
About the U.S. International Trade Administration:
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) strengthens U.S. competitiveness by promoting U.S. export opportunities in global markets. Our trade experts serve in over 100 U.S. cities and 80 international markets through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. Our U.S. Commercial Service Liaison office to the African Development Bank (AfDB) supports U.S. private sector engagement with the AfDB.
About the African Development Bank:
The African Development Bank (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) has approved $2 billion in loans, grants, and equity investments for ICT projects in the past decade. These initiatives focus on regional and national broadband infrastructure development, creating favourable policy environments for private sector investments, scaling digital skills, and nurturing innovative enterprises. The AfDB’s efforts have reduced the cost of internet access, enhanced digital literacy, and fostered a conducive business and policy environment.