CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 28 — The U.S. Commercial Service and the African Development Bank have announced a strategic collaboration to drive digital transformation across Africa.
Revealed during the Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, this collaboration sets the stage for discussions on how U.S. digital innovation can support development goals in Africa. Key themes will include adopting new technologies, improving internet access, enhancing skills, and creating a regulatory environment conducive to innovation. The dialogue aims to explore collaboration between African governments and American technology firms to foster economic growth and enable U.S. businesses to leverage opportunities in Africa’s emerging markets.
Ashley Ndir, senior U.S. Commercial Liaison to the African Development Bank, emphasized, “We stand at a pivotal moment in Africa’s technological advancement. By merging 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.”
Nicholas Williams, Head of ICT Operations at the African Development Bank, stated, “Africa has invested significantly in pivotal infrastructure and policy enhancements to cultivate an innovative digital economy. As Africa’s premier development finance institution, the African Development Bank will further push Africa’s digital boundaries through strategic relations, leveraging historical investments, and tapping into the energy of our young, digital-native population. We value the insights that the U.S. private sector brings.”
This initiative builds on the African Development Bank’s $2 billion investment in digital infrastructure, covering 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 internet access costs, enhanced digital literacy, and fostered a conducive business and policy environment. The collaboration will also benefit from the U.S. Commercial Service’s experience in fostering international trade.
This partnership promises to champion digital transformation in Africa, envisioning a future where technology empowers growth and prosperity. Both the U.S. Commercial Service and the African Development Bank reaffirm their commitment not only to elevate digital capabilities in Africa but also to ensure the continent’s full potential is realized in the digital era.