US Invests $80M towards Digital Transformation with Africa

On Wednesday 13 December 2023, Mr Judd Devermont, Special Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Director for African Affairs at the US State Department, issued a press release that revealed that the USA has invested some USD 82 million under the Digital Transformation with Africa Initiative (#DTAI) in 2023.

The DTAI has set itself an objective of injecting USD 350 million into the #digitalization of Africa. In 2024, based on the projects currently in the pipeline, the US plans to double the amount invested in 2023.

“The Digital Transformation with Africa Initiative (#DTAI) is aligned with the #AU priorities as per #Agenda2063, and the digital transformation strategy in particular.”

US State Department Sr Director for African Affairs Judd Devermont

In addition, the implementation of the DTAI forms part of the commitment made at the 2nd US-Africa Leaders Summit (#UALS2) in December 2022. Currently, the Department of State is expanding the organization structure in order ‘to befit the scale and scope’ of the program.

DTAI Framework

The US has also created an Africa Digital Policy Council to oversee and coordinate work under DTAI. The DTAI has three main pillars based on digital infrastructure, human capital and regulatory environment.

Google has set up data centers in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. Google opened an AI Lab in Ghana in 2019 and a Tech Hub in Nairobi in 2022. Over the period 2021-2025, Google plans to invest nearly USD 800 million in Africa.

Furthermore, Amazon Web Services has development centers in Cape Town and Nairobi. At the same time, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Africa Research Insititute (MARI) in Nairobi and is partnering with the Government of Kenya to implement eGovernment using its Azure cloud platform.

With a view to development mobile payments and eCommerce solutions, Visa has also set up its Innovation Center in Nairobi, which is being branded as the Silicon Savannah. Similarly, Mastercard has expanded its presence across Africa with offices in Cairo. Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Port Louis.

Microsoft to Accompany Kenya on its Digital Transformation Journey

It is worth recalling that the Biden-Harris Administration pledged USD 55 billion to be mobilized for Africa for the period 2023-2025. Towards the end of 2023, Mr Devermont declared that the US has already delivered on more than 40% of its commitment. As a matter of fact, by the end of year two, his forecasts show that the US will surpass 70% of the stated goal.

In addition to #digitalization, the USA is partnering with Africa to boost trade via #AGOA, to enhance #FoodSecurity following #ClimateChange and Global Supply Chain (#GSC) disruptions, to promote #HealthSecurity based on lessons learned from #COVID and to strengthen #GoodGovernance based shared democratic values.

“It is a Presidential Directive and National Security Imperative to strengthen strategic and economic partnership between the US and African countries by catalyzing two-way trade and investment.”

Prosper Africa Coordinator Mrs British Robinson
Prosper Africa Coordinator Mrs British Robinson

VP Harris has issued a ‘call to action’ to the american private sector when she recently travelled to Africa to rally US businesses to seize the business opportunities in Africa. The #AfCFTA presents one of the world’s largest market and Africa also has the world’s youngest population which offers a unique combination with remarkable opportunities for business.

Africa is the source of #CriticalMaterials necessary to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges such as #ClimateChange. US Pension Funds and Insurance are investing more and more into Africa because the investments achieve higher yields.

In 2023, the US closed 547 new deals for a total estimated value exceeding USD 14.2 billion in trade and investments between US and AU. The figure represents a robust 67% increase in the value of deals closed over 2022.