July 24, 2024

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Harris announced plans to help 80% of Africa’s population access the Internet, compared to 40% now

Harris announced plans to help 80% of Africa’s population access the Internet, compared to 40% now

Washington (AFP) – Vice President Kamala Harris On Friday, it announced the formation of a new partnership to help provide Internet access to about 80% of Africa by 2030, compared to about 40% now.

This announcement comes as a follow-up to Harris’ visit to the continent last year and in conjunction with Visit this week To Washington, Kenyan President William Ruto. Harris and the Kenyan leader held a public conversation Friday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about how public-private partnerships can increase economic growth.

“Many would rightly argue that the future lies in Africa,” Harris said, noting that the average lifespan in Africa is 19 years, a sign of economic growth potential. “It’s not about aid, it’s just about investment and understanding what capabilities exist.”

Africa has struggled to obtain the capital needed to build its industrial and technological sectors. the The United Nations reported last year Foreign direct investment in the continent fell to $45 billion in 2022, from a record level of $80 billion in 2021. Africa represents only 3.5% of foreign direct investment worldwide, although it makes up nearly 18%. Of the world’s population.

Alongside launching the non-profit Partnership for Digital Access in Africa, Harris announced an initiative aimed at giving 100 million African people and businesses in the agricultural sector access to the digital economy.

The African Development Bank Group alongside Mastercard, among other organisations, will help form the Mobilization for Access to the Digital Economy Alliance, or MADE. The alliance will begin a pilot program to give digital access to 3 million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria, before expanding elsewhere.

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Harris, a Democrat and the first female vice president of the United States, also announced that Women in the Digital Economy’s efforts to address the gender gap in access to technology have now generated more than $1 billion in public and private commitments, with some federal commitments awaiting congressional approval. .

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Follow AP’s coverage of Vice President Kamala Harris on https://apnews.com/hub/kamala-harris.