IOF, ITU join forces to advance digital transformation in Francophone countries

By : Samira Njoya

Date : jeudi, 06 avril 2023 14:54

In recent years, digital tools have proven important for socioeconomic development. However, most African countries are still lagging in terms of digitization, making them unable to capitalize on the opportunities offered by those tools. It is therefore urgent for international partners to support the countries to accelerate digital transformation, therefore facilitating development. 

Last Monday, the Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF), Louise Mushikiwabo (photo, left), and the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Doreen Bogdan-Martin (photo, right), signed a Joint Declaration on Cooperation to strengthen the partnership between the IOF and the ITU. 

According to the release issued by the IOF, "the actions envisaged through this declaration aim to contribute to ensuring connectivity for all and a sustainable digital transformation. The areas of collaboration taken into account are advocacy for digital connectivity and respect for multilingualism during international consultations and exchanges.”  

The declaration also focuses on the acceleration of digital transformation in French-speaking countries, valorization of the expertise of French-speaking professionals, and letting populations -the youth and women notably- get a good grasp of digital issues.  

For several months now, the IOF has been multiplying partnerships for the development of the digital sector in French-speaking countries, African countries included. In December, the organization signed a framework cooperation agreement with the West African Development Bank (BOAD) to support digital transformation in WAEMU countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

The declaration is in line with the decisions taken during the last Summit of La Francophonie in Djerba, Tunisia -held on November 19-20, 2022, on the theme "Connectivity in digital diversity as a vector of development and solidarity in the Francophone space"-  and the Strategic Plan for the ITU 2024-2027 adopted at the Plenipotentiary Conference held in Bucharest, Romania in October 2022.

Samira Njoya


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