The EU Digital for Development policy

On 2nd May 2017, the European Commission published the Staff Working Document Digital4Development: mainstreaming digital technologies and services into EU Development Policy (D4D) setting up its vision, priority areas and future actions in using digital technologies and services as a cross-cutting tool in the EU development interventions. 

Based on existing policies and partnerships involving the public and private sectors the Commission is mainstreaming digital technologies across four main priority areas:

  1. promote access to affordable and secure broadband connectivity and to digital infrastructure, including the necessary regulatory reforms;

  2. promote digital literacy and skills;

  3. foster digital entrepreneurship and job creation; and

  4. promote the use of digital technologies as an enabler for sustainable development.

On 20th November 2017, the Counciul of the European Union recognises the D4D policy set up by the European Commission and adopts Council Counclusion on the issue.

The sixth EU-Africa Business Forum held in Abidjan in November 2017, concluded that the digital economy is a driver for inclusive growth job creation and sustainable development by providing cost-effective solutions to ongoing development challenges, and by removing physical boundaries between people and thus enabling access to vital services that improve people's livelihoods. The participants to the Business Forum acknowledged the importance of an EU-Africa digital cooperation platform, involving all relevant stakeholders to ensure input on measures decided by public actors, to facilitate implementation of commonly agreed solutions, but also to ensure synergy between public decision-makers, development banks, private firms, and civil society.

The EU and African leaders reunited at the fifth African Union - European Union Summit on 29-30 November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, recognised, for the first time, digital economy as an area of cooperation between the two continents. 

In his State of the Union Address on 12 September 2018, President Jean-Claude Juncker announced a new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs. The Communication is implementing a decision of the European Union-African Union Commission to-Commission meeting in May 2018 to create a Digital Economy Task Force that will develop concrete recomendation for future cooperation.