(Ecofin Agency) - Benin has officially become a member of the Smart Africa Alliance, an organization established during the "Transform Africa" Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda, in October 2013. The move provides Benin with a platform to accelerate the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in alignment with the government's digital transformation goals.
The ratification of the agreement establishing the Smart Africa Alliance took place during a plenary session of Benin’s National Assembly on Tuesday, January 23. This initiative is part of the broader efforts by the government to fast-track the country's digital transformation and position itself at the forefront of the ICT agenda in Africa.
A budget of CFA24.3 billion (about $40.3 million) has been allocated to the projects of the Ministry of Digitalization and Digital Transformation for FY 2024. In 2023, the amount allocated was CFA31 billion. By joining the Smart Africa Alliance, Benin will benefit from strengthened regional collaboration with other African nations that share a similar vision and objectives regarding digital development. This collaboration will facilitate the exchange of experiences, best practices, and knowledge. Additionally, the organization guarantees Benin access to resources and funding to support its digital initiatives.
Benin's membership in the Smart Africa Alliance is expected to enhance the quality and coverage of electronic communication services while reducing costs. According to the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (ARCEP), Benin had 15.46 million mobile phone subscriptions in the second quarter of 2023. Overall, the country recorded 10.14 million subscribers to mobile internet services and 24,641 subscribers to fixed internet, according to the regulator's latest statistics (March 2023).