Cross-country Learnings to Strengthen the Path to Digital Transformation

From May 16 to 20, 2022 government representatives from Ethiopia and Malawi join the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) for a knowledge and learning visit to two countries to learn, study best practices on how to best build inclusive digital economies, and the policy and regulatory environment required to advance this digital transformation. Cross-country learnings between nations with similar contexts help fast-track the formulation, development and implementation of such policies.

In Ethiopia and Malawi UNCDF is, in partnership with the European Union (EU), and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), implementing the DFS4Resilience Program, which deploys digital finance solutions at scale to deepen financial inclusion, making economies and societies more resilient to external shocks. As part of this program, this knowledge and learning visit provides high-level and technical representatives of the Governments of Ethiopia and Malawi with an opportunity to learn from their peers in Uganda and Rwanda, at a point in time when Ethiopia and Malawi develop their own digital transformation strategies.

  The knowledge and learning visit will illustrate to representatives how government services and payments can be digitized and how the Inclusive Digital Economy Scorecard (IDES) can be used for the design and implementation of policies and regulations that enable this digitizing. The IDES is a strategic performance and policy tool, developed by UNCDF, to assist policy makers in measuring, planning, identifying gaps and implementing the digital transformation of nations.

As one of the pilot countries for IDES, the Government of Uganda adopted IDES and is now leveraging the tool for planning and priority-setting in different government ministries. The lessons from Uganda will provide participants with a clear understanding of exactly how the tool was used and integrated within the Government’s digital transformation agenda, and what can be obtained by using IDES. 

Reiterating the value IDES provides, Mike Mccaffrey UNCDF's Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Manager, said, "Identifying the constraints that hinder the development of a country's inclusive digital economy is a crucial step toward designing the right solutions that foster a digital economy. As one of the first implementors of the IDES tool, Uganda has valuable lessons to share. And Rwanda has been leading the way for many years in digital transformation. Therefore, facilitating these peer learning and knowledge exchanges is UNCDF's way of ensuring the adoption of best practices that accelerate the implementation countries' digital transformation."

In Rwanda, the knowledge and learning will include sessions with representatives from the government of Rwanda on the development and use of the e-Government services portal IREMBO and the policies and strategies that enhanced citizens’ empowerment through the ICT environment.

Representatives will also hear from private sector partners and understand more about their payment aggregator models. Uganda and Rwanda have excellent examples of payment aggregators that support interoperability of digital payments. Understanding the policy requirements and support needed in operationalizing aggregators, is useful to the Ethiopian and Malawian delegates as their countries advance digital payments systems.

These types of knowledge-exchange visits are one way in which UNCDF strengthens the technical knowledge of governments with which we collaborate. In the months ahead UNCDF will also support Ethiopia and Malawi with the adoption of the IDES, if these countries choose to use this tool.