Towards an African digital single market: Opportunities for the AU-EU partnership

Rob Floyd from the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and Melody Musoni argue that the creation of Africa’s digital single market and development of its digital infrastructure offer opportunities to strengthen the Africa-Europe partnership.

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    Key messages

    The development of Africa’s digital infrastructure and the creation of an African Digital Single Market (DSM) present new opportunities to strengthen the AU-EU partnership. We put forward a number of recommendations to advance collaboration, such as:

    • The AU and the EU should link digital infrastructure investment in Africa to the broader development agenda and establish an effective and well structured dialogue to advance thought leadership to deepen the understanding of digital infrastructure approaches, values and definitions.
    • The AU and the EU should make investments in digital infrastructure inclusive, paying attention to supporting African start-ups, innovators, SMEs and entrepreneurs.
    • African countries should actively start implementing continental policy frameworks at regional and national levels and with EU support, design strategies on how continental frameworks can be adopted domestically.
    • African countries should adopt common rules and minimum requirements to build interoperable and trusted digital public infrastructure while drawing from the EU’s experience in building its DSM.
    • The AU and the EU need to build digital literacy and skills through various programmes.

    This brief was produced for the 'Africa-Europe relations: A balanced narrative and reality check' project, undertaken by ACET, ECDPM, ISS and PCNS, and supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the African Union.

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