International Cooperation and Development

Covid-19: EU programme promotes digital solutions to the crisis in Africa

News 17 July 2020 Brussels

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The European Union has today announced a €10.4 million programme to promote digital solutions to fight the coronavirus pandemic and to improve the resilience of health and education systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. The programme will be extended to additional countries from across Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean at a later stage.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: ”Supporting our African partners is at the heart of the EU’s global response to the coronavirus pandemic. We must think outside the box to pursue innovative solutions. This programme will enable partner countries to benefit from digital solutions in the areas of healthcare and education.”

The programme will promote digital solutions to improve the continuity and quality of both education services through, for example, e-learning, and technical and vocational training. It will also promote digital solutions to enhance the quality and efficiency of health services, such as monitoring and surveillance in the targeted countries.

Moreover, to foster a stronger EU coordinated approach in partner countries, the EU and its Member States established a platform called the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub. Five development agencies and partners from European Member States are currently part of the Hub: GIZ, ENABEL, AFD, LuxDev and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This platform will bring together EU and local tech companies, such as mobile operators or satellite operators to work on affordability, connectivity and improving the reach of public and private digital service solutions to address the pandemic.

Background information

The Global EU response to coronavirus follows a Team Europe approach. It draws on contributions from all EU institutions and combines the resources mobilised by EU Member States and financial institutions, to address the humanitarian, health, and other consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. The total Team Europe global response package comes to almost €36 billion.

To read more about the EU’s global response to the pandemic, click here.