AU Commission calls for the rapid implementation of the African strategy for digital transformation in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The African Union Commission’s (AUC) Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT organised two videoconferences in March and April for the ministers of information and communication technology (ICT) to consider actions to support the continental COVID-19 pandemic strategy. Another videoconference was held by the AUC’s Economic Commission for ministers of finance, planning, and economy on 19 March 2020. The outcome of the meetings was a declaration where participants acknowledged the digital divide and the intense economic inequality which prevented individuals from accessing digital healthcare and vital COVID-19 information. To overcome these barriers, they agreed to consider the establishment of an AU Digital Fund in support of the AU COVID-19 Response Fund to finance innovative solutions, projects, and initiatives undertaken by the AUC. They further called upon multilateral financial institutions and partners, including the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank among others, to support the swift implementation of the African Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS) and contribute to the AU Digital Fund.