Digitalisation and U.S. Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa

The U.S. Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on digitalization as a key tool for sustainable development amidst increasing competition, especially from China. Priorities include building open, secure internet infrastructure, expanding digital financial services, promoting digital business, and addressing issues like regional connectivity and cybersecurity. Training in STEM fields is emphasized, along with combatting disinformation and digital authoritarianism. The strategy also advocates for responsible conduct in cyberspace to ensure progress in the region.

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The new U.S. Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa outlines US priorities in the growing competition for Africa with, in particular, China.

Digitalisation plays an important role as an ‘accelerator’ of sustainable development.

The US strategy focuses on a few issues in the digital ecosystem aimed at building open, reliable, interoperable, and secure internet.

  • digitalisation of financial services and records
  • building infrastructure: undersea cables, expanding a number of data centres
  • investing in digital business in Africa
  • call for Open RAN technology for telecom infrastructure; this call relates to Huawei’s dominance in 5G networks built around proprietary technology
  • digital democracy and the fight against digital authoritarianism
  • fighting disinformation and gender-based online harassment
  • establishing standards for responsible conduct in cyberspace
  • building skills and knowledge through training and courses in science, technology, engineering, and math

You can consult the annotated text of the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa.