PHB and UNCDF: Building Inclusive Digital Transformation Strategies in the Context of COVID-19

Posted on Aug 26, 2021 by Alexandra Sánchez, Digital Catalyser—Partner and David Kleiman, Digital Catalyser—Partner, PHB Development


Digital transformation will drive the post-pandemic economic recovery. Most African countries have assessed their need for digital transformation but have not necessarily developed a digital transformation strategy. The COVID-19 crisis that paralysed the world in 2020 and continues to endure, however, has shown the importance of developing a robust digital ecosystem supported by a whole-of-government strategic approach.

The online course on “Planning and building inclusive digital transformation strategies in the context of COVID-19 to meet the SDGs and Agenda 2063” was recently offered on the e-learning platform of the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) and supported by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). The course was designed as part of UNCDF’s “Leaving no one behind in the digital era strategy which aims to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, by equipping and empowering millions of people to use innovative digital services in their daily lives. Digital inclusion is the key lever to make sure that people have access, use and benefit from the meaningful services made possible through digital platforms.

UNCDF worked together with PHB to create the course, with PHB providing interactive, multi-lingual facilitation for a cohort of more than 400 participants from governments across Africa to provide digital economy actors with:

1. A solution to improve their knowledge and skills on digital economy fundamentals, digital transformation and sustainable development.

2. Insights on business strategy development to drive inclusive digital transformation including policy and regulations, digital finance, digital ID, digital trade (e-commerce) and digital economy, as well as how to measure and benchmark the inclusiveness of a digital economy.

Armel Bruno C. Allavo, a consultant at Benin’s Société d'Inclusion Financière (SIF) Group, said of the course: ¨I would like to thank UNCDF, PHB and IDEP for this opportunity. We will be able to validly support our African States with this new competence.”


The wake of the coronavirus outbreak is accelerating an already growing trend towards digitalization; from virtual meetings to digital payments, automated factories, online orders and drone delivery, digital services are growing in importance, permeating an increasing number of sectors and activities.

The challenges are not small or easy to overcome, but they pale in comparison with the opportunities that lay ahead ...

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