Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 76 | Page 15


The World Bank Group approves $ 390 million to boost digital economy in Kenya

The World Bank Group Board of Directors approved $ 390 million in financing for the first phase of a program that aims to expand access to high-speed internet , improve the quality and delivery of education and selected government services , and build skills for the regional digital economy .

The Kenya Digital Economy Acceleration Project will use a multi-phase programmatic approach , MPA with two phases where phase one will run from 2023 – 2028 , focusing on expanding access to high-speed internet , improving the quality and delivery of education and selected government services , and building skills for the regional digital economy .
Phase two will run from 2026 – 2030 , concentrating on building a data driven and secure environment for enhanced digital service delivery and innovation for the regional digital economy . The project will also mobilise an estimated $ 100 million in private capital by crowding-in the private sector for broadband infrastructure development .
“ Broadening access to digital technologies and services is a cross-cutting pathway to accelerate economic growth and job creation , improve service delivery , and build resilience ,” said Keith Hansen , World Bank
Country Director for Kenya , Rwanda , Somalia , and Uganda . “ The Kenya Digital Economy Acceleration Project aims to help make Kenya ’ s growth more equitable by shrinking disparities in digital skills and connectivity , and expanding the digital marketplace .”
The initiative will increase last mile connectivity by boosting broadband network coverage for over 70 % of Kenya ’ s population that resides in rural and underserved areas . Kenya ’ s digital agenda , reflected in the ambitious ICT Master Plan , aims to transform the country into a regional ICT hub by increasing fibre optic coverage to 100,000 km and digitising 80 % of public services .
The project will increase access to broadband through an expansion of the fibre optic backbone and last mile connectivity to government and learning institutions , as well as along Kenya ’ s borders , benefiting the regional digital market .

Sao Tome and Principe , African Development Bank signs $ 3.2 million loan for upgrade of National Switch

The African Development Bank Group , and the government of Sao Tome and Principe have signed a $ 3.2 million loan agreement to upgrade the country ’ s National Switch payment system that supports the clearing and settlement of country wide highvalue and retail payments .

The upgrade will allow for automatic Real Time Gross Settlement and Automated Clearing House functionalities which strengthen the clearing and settlement of payments . Through RTGS , high-value transfers are settled in the Central Bank in real time , reducing liquidity and credit risks within the system . The upgrading will allow for the surge of digital payment , mobile money , and other digital services . disbursed from the Nigerian Trust Fund . The Fund is one of the Bank Group ’ s arms which assists development efforts of the Bank ’ s low-income regional member countries requiring concessional financing . This funding will supplement an African Development Fund grant of $ 2 million made in 2017 , to support the country with state-ofthe-art Automatic Transfer System , ATS +. The African Development Fund is the Bank ’ s main concessional lending window .
The agreement was signed on 23rd March 2023 during a brief ceremony attended by Sao Tome and Principe Minister of Planning , Finance and Blue Economy , Ginésio da Mata , and Bank country manager for Angola and Sao Tome and Principe , Pietro Toigo . institution . It comprises three distinct entities : the African Development Bank , AfDB , the African Development Fund , ADF and the Nigeria Trust Fund , NTF . On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan , the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states . p
The Board of Directors of the Bank approved the loan on 8th March with funds to be
The African Development Bank Group is Africa ’ s premier development finance
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