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Lomé, June 7, 2023. Africa Smart and the West African Development Bank (BOAD) have established a partnership to cooperate on digital transformation projects in Africa. The signing of this partnership also marks BOAD’s official membership of the Smart Africa Alliance as the latest partner institution to join this Alliance, which includes the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank and others.

Africa Smart will work closely with the BOAD to support the development and implementation of digital transformation projects directly involving BOAD member countries, notably the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). This includes support for the development of digital infrastructures such as broadband networks and cross-border data centers in the UEMOA zone, as well as the development of technical skills and digital culture. collaborate on fundraising activities for projects identified as being of mutual interest, and on the operation and implementation of the Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA).

Commenting on the partnership, Mr Lacina Koné, Managing Director and President of Smart Africa, said: ” By joining forces with BOAD, we are combining our expertise and resources to pave the way for a digital revolution that will empower West African nations and their citizens. We’re celebrating our tenth anniversary this year, and it’s thanks to partnerships like these that we’ll be able to achieve our continent’s digital agenda faster and more effectively.. “

BOAD’s commitment to this partnership is in line with its Djoliba strategic plan, which focuses on six key areas: regulatory frameworks, infrastructure, public digital platforms, digital financial services, digital governance and entrepreneurship.

In this regard, the President of BOAD, Mr Serge EKUE, underlined BOAD’s determination to ” Connect, Innovate and Transform “This is why the Bank is interested in joining the Smart Africa Alliance as a financing partner, in order to stimulate investments tailored to digital projects impacting countries in the UEMOA zone. More specifically, this will involve any funding earmarked for initiatives such as i) support for the development of e-commerce in the UEMOA region via the Smart Africa Trust Alliance (SATA) project and within the scope of the implementation of the ZLECAF ii) support for the implementation of financial inclusion projects as part of sub-regional integration, in line with Axis 1 of the DJOLIBA plan. iii) support for the innovation ecosystem through the popularization of the “innovation tool”. Startups “for the benefit of our member states, according to their level of progress and iv) support for capacity building and skills development as part of the scaling-up of the Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA).

The President of the BOAD also welcomed the commitment of all stakeholders to finding concrete and innovative solutions for economic growth through the creation of alliances, partnerships and unions to promote the integration of sub-regions and, by extension, African integration for the benefit of our populations.

About Smart Africa

Smart Africa is an alliance of 38 African countries, international organizations and global private sector players responsible for Africa’s digital agenda. The alliance builds on the bold and innovative commitment of African Heads of State to accelerate the continent’s sustainable socio-economic development, and to bring Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the use of ICTs. With the vision of creating a single digital market in Africa by 2030, the Smart Africa Alliance brings together heads of state seeking to accelerate the digitization of the continent and create a common market. Launched in 2013 by seven (7) African heads of state, the Alliance today has 38 member countries, representing over 1.1 billion people and over 40 private sector members committed to Africa’s vision and advancement.

About BOAD :

The Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD) is the joint development finance institution of the member countries of the Union Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UMOA). In accordance with Article 2 of its Articles of Association, its purpose is to promote the balanced development of its member states and foster the economic integration of West Africa by financing priority development projects. It is accredited with the three climate finance funds (GEF, AF, GCF). Since 2009, BOAD has been an observer at the UNFCCC, taking an active part in discussions on the development of an international climate finance system. Since January 2013, it has been home to the first Regional Collaboration Center (CRC) on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which aims to provide direct support to governments, NGOs and the private sector in identifying and developing CDM projects. The Bank is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2023 and is an active member of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), which brings together 24 national, regional and bilateral development banks.

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