USAID announced it will partner with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to launch a new initiative that will help protect consumers and increase competition in countries across Africa. This initiative will strengthen legal and regulatory frameworks and the institutional capacity to ensure that the benefits of the digital economy are not undermined by anti-competitive, unfair, or deceptive practices.
Robust frameworks for competition and consumer protection are indispensable foundations for partner countries seeking to promote inclusive economic growth, sustain economic competitiveness, promote gender equality and equity, support resilient democratic institutions, and strengthen the rule of law.
Where these foundations are weak or non-existent, a country’s digital economy can become vulnerable to a range of risks and harms, including online fraud, scams, cyber attacks, data misuse, algorithmic bias, gender-based discrimination, corruption, and abuses of market power. While each of these are damaging in their own right, they can collectively contribute to deeper economic and governance concerns if left unchecked, including economic inequality, reduced local and foreign investment, reduced competitiveness, and weakened democratic institutions.
The FTC will use its technical expertise, capacity-building programs, convening power, and relationships across the region to help authorities adopt and implement policy, legal, regulatory, and enforcement frameworks. The FTC will pursue these lines of engagement in concert with other U.S. Government counterparts, regional bodies on the African continent, and country-level counterpart authorities.
This initiative advances USAID priorities outlined in the USAID Digital Strategy to strengthen inclusive, open, and secure digital ecosystems in countries where USAID works. This initiative also aligns with and advances broader U.S. Government strategies, programs, and initiatives, including the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP), Declaration for the Future of the Internet, U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, and National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.
The Trust and Competition in Digital Economies initiative is managed by USAID’s Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub and Center for Economics and Market Development.
Further information on this initiative is available at this page.