Brussels, 8 December 2020 | On 8 December, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, together with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and other European leaders, launches the D4D Hub, a global multi-stakeholder platform that will mark a turning point in the EU’s international partnerships to support a human-centric digital transformation. Eleven EU Member States, including Belgium, have committed to cooperate towards a European digital development strategy.
The D4D Hub will form regional branches in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Europe entrust the Belgian development agency Enabel with coordinating the implementation of the digital development strategy with the African Union through the AU-EU D4D Hub. This is the first operational regional component of the global EU D4D Hub. It will kick off activities from January 2021 onwards. Enabel collaborates in this with Germany’s GIZ, France’s AFD and Expertise France, Luxembourg’s LuxDev and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With the private sector, financial institutions, academia and civil society, this consortium aims to bridge the digital divide between Africa and Europe.
The AU-EU D4D Hub will serve to provide demand-driven technical support to national stakeholders, disseminate best practices, and host digital policy dialogues between inter-African and African-EU multi-stakeholder partnerships.
’I am proud of the recognition of the pioneering work we have done,’ says Jean Van Wetter, Managing director of Enabel. ‘Over the past few years, Enabel has strongly invested in its digital expertise. We have also gained experience by working more and better with African and European players to enhance our impact.’
Europe and Africa want to align their digital visions, based on the same values and choices that, among other things, enable strong data security and inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
• 40% of the world's population does not have internet access
• African GDP is estimated to increase by more than 1% if digital coverage increases by 10%
• 20% of the European recovery plan is destined for the digital transformation
During an online event, the D4D Hub was launched on 8 December by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in attendance of Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, and Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg.
Enabel implements the Belgian governmental cooperation policy. The agency also works for the account of other national and international donors. With its partners in Belgium and abroad Enabel offers solutions addressing pressing global challenges: Climate Change, Urbanisation, Human Mobility, Peace and Security, Economic and Social Inequality and Global Citizenship Education. Enabel has 1500 staff members. The agency manages 150 projects in almost twenty countries, in Belgium, Africa and the Middle East.