Harris announces plans to help give 80% of Africa access to the internet by 2030, up from 40% now

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announces the formation of a new partnership to bring internet access to 80% of Africa by 2030, up from about 40% today.

Friday’s announcement follows Harris’ visit to the continent last year, along with Kenyan President William Ruto’s visit to Washington this week. Harris and the Kenyan leader were scheduled to hold a fireside chat at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday about how public-private partnerships can boost economic growth.

A preview of Harris’ initiatives, obtained by The Associated Press, outlines how she plans to deliver on commitments she made to advance digital innovation during her visits to Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia.

Africa has struggled to acquire the capital needed to build its industrial and technological sectors. The United Nations reported last year that foreign direct investment in the continent fell to $45 billion in 2022, from a record high of $80 billion in 2021. Africa accounted for just 3.5% of global foreign direct investment, even though it approximately 18% of total foreign direct investment. the world population.

In addition to launching the nonprofit Partnership for Digital Access in Africa to improve internet access, Harris, a Democrat, announces a new initiative aimed at giving 100 million African people and businesses in the agricultural sector access to the digital economy .

The African Development Bank Group, together with Mastercard and others, will help form the Mobilizing Access to the Digital Economy Alliance, or MADE. The alliance will launch a pilot program to provide digital access to 3 million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria, before expanding to other countries.

Harris, the first female U.S. vice president, also announced that Women in the Digital Economy’s efforts to address the gender gap in technology access have now generated more than $1 billion in public and private commitments, with some U.S. commitments are pending approval by Congress.


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