IDECT: $1.5m project to improve digital trade and e-commerce policies in Africa

African Development Fund (ADF) and Smart Africa Alliance have announced the launch of a $1.5 million project aimed at harmonizing digital trade and e-commerce policies across 10 African countries. The Institutional Support for Digital Payments and e-Commerce Policies for Cross-Border Trade Project (IDECT) is expected to streamline digital trade and e-commerce ecosystems in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Republic of Congo, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The IDECT project will assess policy gaps in digital trade and e-commerce across the participating countries and provide regional training and capacity building programs on cross-border e-payment and e-commerce for governments, private sectors, and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The training programs are expected to reach 600 participants, of which 60% will be women and youth. The project also aims to develop and disseminate a gender-sensitive e-learning training program to 2,500 participants, of whom 60% will be women.

The agreement for the IDECT project was signed on April 25, 2023, a day before the Transform Africa Summit, held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from April 26-28, 2023. African Development Bank Director General for Southern Africa Region, Leïla Mokaddem, noted that the IDECT project is a critical step towards strengthening Africa’s digital trade and e-commerce landscape. She added that the initiative would foster a digital trade ecosystem that generates employment opportunities across the continent.

Smart Africa CEO, Lacina Koné, described the IDECT project as a demonstration of the alliance’s commitment to fostering digital transformation and economic growth in Africa. He stated that addressing policy gaps and promoting gender-sensitive training was laying the foundation for a thriving trade and e-commerce ecosystem.

For more information about the IDECT Smart Africa project, visit

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