The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden has announced that $350 million has been earmarked to facilitate digital transformation in Africa.
“So, today, I’m announcing a new initiative – The Digital Transformation with Africa. Working with Congress to invest $350 million to facilitate more than almost half a billion dollars in financing to make sure more people across Africa can participate in the digital economy,” he said.
According to Biden, the fund would help to ensure more Africans participate in the digital economy. Additionally, the initiative includes partnerships such as a new collaboration between Microsoft and Viasat to bring in Internet access to five million Africans. Also, there are programmes to train African entrepreneurs with a focus on women entrepreneurs to code and build skills needed to start their own businesses, to secure good-paying jobs and for technology firms.
Biden stated: “The United States is focused on Africa’s future. And the work we’ve done over the past two years, building on decades of vital investments made under previous American presidents, has helped make possible the critical steps that I’m about to announce.
“First, the United States is signing an historic memorandum of understanding with the new African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat. This MoU will unlock new opportunities for trade and investment between our countries and bring Africa and the United States even closer than ever. This is an enormous opportunity for Africa’s future, and the United States wants to help make those opportunities real.
“We are finally implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area. It will represent one of the largest free trade areas in the world with 1.3 billion people, and a continent-wide market totalling $3.4 trillion.
“And with the new MoU, we are doing things correctly: enshrining protections for workers both across Africa and in the United States; looking out for small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs and enterprises to make sure they have a fair shot to compete; lifting up opportunity for women-owned businesses, diaspora-owned businesses, and businesses owned by members of historically underserved communities; and supporting and investing in the continent’s vibrant and growing urban economies.
In a related development, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the US Eximbank have signed a $500m memorandum of understanding (MoU) on trade to boost US-Africa trade.
The MoU makes for a structure that allows Afreximbank and the US Exim bank operate and support renewed US-Africa trade, investment, engagement and relations.