U.S. invests $82 million towards Africa’s digital transformation in 2023

U.S. invests $82 million towards Africa’s digital transformation in 2023

The United States has invested some $82 million under the Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative, Mr Judd Devermont, the National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs of the State Department, has disclosed.

The amount invested is towards achieving a $350 million target with a robust pipeline to more than double the amount in 2024.

He said the flagship effort to expand digital access in Africa was aligned with the priorities outlined in the African Union’s digital transformation strategy.

“Over the last year, we’ve built the organisational structures to oversee and implement DTA that befits its scale and scope,” Mr Devermont said in a digital press briefing to discuss the progress made over the last year in implementing the achievements of the US Africa Leaders’ Summit.

Last year, the Biden-Harris administration said it would invest $55 billion in Africa over three years.

Mr Devermont said as 2023 was coming to an end, the U.S. had already delivered on more than 40 per cent of that commitment.

“In fact, by the end of year two, we anticipate surpassing 70 per cent of our goal, if not more,” he stated.

With those resources, he said, “we’ve expanded our trade and investment; we have advanced major food and health security partnerships; charted a course for digital transformation; forged new security and good governance cooperation; and catalysed landmark diaspora-driven engagement.”

He said the U.S. had launched a senior-level Africa Digital Policy Council to oversee and coordinate work under the Digital Transformation with Africa initiative.

Also, Mr Devermont said working groups had been put in place to drive U.S. Government investment and mobilise private sector partnerships under DTA’s three pillars centred on digital economy and infrastructure, digital inclusion, and regulatory reform.

“Further, Vice President Harris issued a call to action to the private sector when she travelled to the continent, and that goal is to rally private sector interest in supporting DTA.”

British Robinson, Coordinator of Prosper Africa, giving an overview of Prosper Africa, said it was a Presidential and National Security initiative to strengthen the strategic and economic partnership between the U.S. and African countries by catalysing two-way trade and investment flows.

She said the U.S. business and investment community was increasingly recognising Africa’s extraordinary market potential and dynamism.

“The continent is home to the world’s youngest population, an asset that creates significant opportunities for viable business deals that create jobs and foster shared prosperity.”

She said Africa was one of the most important and growing sources of new and innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, and that Africa was the front line for protecting the world’s biodiversity wealth.

America’s prosperity, Ms Robinson said, was tied to Africa’s growth – from strengthening U.S. supply chains to ensuring the long-term security of pension funds and insurance facilities for everyday Americans through higher-yielding investments.

In this past year, the U.S. Government has helped close 547 new deals, for a total estimated value of $14.2 billion in trade and investment between the United States and African countries.

That, she said, represented a 67 per cent increase in the number and value of closed deals over 2022.

From those increased investments, supported by 17 Prosper Africa U.S. Government partner agencies, the initiative had made tangible impacts on the lives and the livelihoods of people in the U.S. and Africa.

Mr Jonathan Pratt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, highlighting the impactful summit initiatives, mentioned the inauguration of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement (PAC-ADE), managed in the State Department within the summit implementation unit.

He said the Council, among others, would advise the President on strategies to strengthen ties between African communities, the global African diaspora, and the United States.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary said the African Democratic and Political Transitions (ADAPT) initiative to be piloted in Guinea, would support the country in its transition to democratic governance by January 1, 2025.

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ADAPT resources, Mr Pratt said, would provide technical assistance for ongoing efforts to draft a new constitution and prepare for free and fair elections, while laying the groundwork for more effective and inclusive democratic institutions.

Source: GNA

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