CAMEROON – The World Bank has approved a US$100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) 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 support the improvement of the strategic, policy, and regulatory environment for the emergence of a vibrant, safe, and inclusive digital economy.
Also, it aims to reduce the geographic and societal digital divides affecting primarily rural areas; and 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 and connecting public buildings.
Smallholder farmers and producer organizations will be provided with support 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 spill over effects on other productive sectors.
Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon said, “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.”
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.
Meanwhile, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is seeking to invest US$1 billion in food security and agriculture projects in developing countries over the five years.
The US government-funded agency plans to deploy this investment to fund, insure and provide technical assistance to private sector initiatives related to agricultural production, irrigation, food processing, food storage, shipping and logistics, and fintech related to global food systems.
DFC aims to accelerate progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition and building more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food systems.
Agriculture is a crucial sector in developing economies and plays a fundamental role in promoting healthy populations.
It is the main source of employment for communities in the developing world, yet many still struggle to earn enough to support their families.
Additionally, weak global agriculture supply chains can result in significant waste before food produce reaches consumers.
DFC’s food security investments aim to help mitigate these complex challenges while also introducing technology and innovation to strengthen long-term resiliency through improving food processing, storage, and delivery systems.