The World Bank has spent $ 100 million to develop digital infrastructure and services in Niger. The planned digital transformation will serve as the foundation for the program to modernize the economy and improve access to essential services.
The International Development Association (IDA), the branch of the World Bank dedicated to the poorest countries, will grant Niger the sum of 100 million dollars (57.8 billion FCFA) to accelerate its digital transformation, it said. we learned in a press release from the institution.
This support, made up in equal parts of a credit and a donation, will make it possible to deploy a program for the modernization of the economy and the improvement of access to essential services. Because, according to the observation made by the World Bank and which motivated this financing, Niger has one of the weakest telephone coverage in Africa, due to the lack of sufficiently developed digital infrastructures.
It will therefore specifically be a question of deploying more resilient infrastructures and spurring innovations to develop citizens’ access to essential social services, while improving the well-being of populations, including in the poorest and most fragile regions. . Furthermore, this support will be useful for the “Smart Villages” project which aims to improve access to mobile telephony and broadband services in rural areas and, at the same time, provide dematerialized financial services in certain underserved regions of Niger. .
According to Tim Kelly, Senior Digital Development Specialist at the World Bank, ” The pandemic has revealed the urgency of accelerating digital transformation to enable countries like Niger to preserve private sector activity and save lives and jobs. By ensuring that all citizens have access to a quality and cheap internet connection, that online public services are easily accessible and that the digital economy drives growth, innovation and job creation, new project will help Niger exploit its digital development potential. “