The World Bank approved today a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) in the amount of $100 million to support Cameroon’s efforts in promoting digital inclusion and the use of digital solutions in the agriculture sector.
The project, Acceleration of the Digital Transformation of Cameroon, seeks specifically to (i) support the improvement of the strategic, policy, and regulatory environment for the emergence of a vibrant, safe, and inclusive digital economy; (ii) reduce the geographic and societal digital divides affecting primarily rural areas; and (iii) facilitate the implementation of data-driven solutions to boost innovation in the agriculture sector.
The project will benefit Cameroonian residents in rural areas, including end-users, public and private sectors, and the general population by improving the availability and affordability of broadband internet, connecting public buildings such as hospitals, schools, and local government offices, fostering digital entrepreneurship, and providing support to smallholder farmers and producer organizations to promote the adoption of innovations developed by agritech startups. At the macro level, the project will support increased economic growth, productivity, and job creation, both within the digital and agricultural sectors and through spillover effects on other productive sectors.
“Scarce and high-cost broadband access is holding back the economic transformation of Cameroon and its resilience to shocks like COVID-19. By supporting reforms in policies, regulations as well as strengthened institutional capacity the project will improve broadband access and help stimulate growth and innovation, foster competition, and facilitate investment in the digital economy and in the agricultural sector”, said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon.
The project will have three main components: the first one will enable strategy, policy, and regulation for digital inclusion and transformation; the second one will focus on digital connectivity and inclusion and the third one will facilitate the implementation of data-driven solutions in the Agricultural sector.
The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 per cent going to Africa.