Kamala Harris Unveils Major Initiative for Africa's Digital Future

Vice President Kamala Harris announces a new partnership to expand internet access in Africa to 80% by 2030. This initiative, part of her visit last year, will also focus on economic growth through public-private partnerships. The Mobilizing Access to the Digital Economy Alliance (MADE) aims to digitize 3 million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria.

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 24-05-2024 16:42 IST | Created: 24-05-2024 16:37 IST
Kamala Harris Unveils Major Initiative for Africa's Digital Future
Kamala Harris Image Credit: Twitter(@KamalaHarris)
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Vice President Kamala Harris is announcing the formation of a new partnership to help provide internet access to 80 per cent of Africa by 2030, up from roughly 40 per cent now.

Friday's announcement comes as follow-through on Harris' visit to the continent last year in conjunction with this week's visit to Washington by Kenyan President William Ruto.

Harris and the Kenyan leader were scheduled to have a fireside chat on Friday at the US Chamber of Commerce about how public-private partnerships can increase economic growth.

A preview of Harris' initiatives obtained by The Associated Press outlines how she wants to follow through on the commitments she made to promote digital innovation when she visited Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia.

Africa has struggled to receive the capital needed to build up its industrial and technological sectors. The United Nations reported last year that foreign direct investment in the continent fell to USD 45 billion in 2022, from a record high USD 80 billion in 2021.

Africa accounted for only 3.5 per cent of foreign direct investment worldwide, even though it makes up roughly 18 per cent of the global population.

Besides launching the nonprofit Partnership for Digital Access in Africa to improve internet access, Harris, a Democrat, is announcing a new initiative geared toward giving 100 million African people and businesses in the agricultural sector access to the digital economy.

The African Development Bank Group along with Mastercard, among other organizations, will help form the Mobilizing Access to the Digital Economy Alliance, or MADE. The alliance will start a pilot program to give digital access to 3 million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria, before expanding elsewhere.

Harris, the first female US vice president, is also announcing that the Women in the Digital Economy efforts to address the gender divide in technology access have now generated more than USD 1 billion in public and private commitments, with some US commitments pending congressional approval.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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