Expertise France, a French public agency for international technical cooperation, is working alongside the French Development Agency (AFD) to support the digital transition in several African and Caribbean countries through the DIRECCT (Digital Response Connecting Citizens) programme. DIRECCT is financed by the European Union in partnership with the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States. It is implemented by AFD in partnership with Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union has launched response plans, notably with DIRECCT, aimed at using digital solutions to build resilience in the education, health and business sectors. Expertise France is particularly involved in the component aimed at enabling micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to use digital to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic.
For example, with the support of Expertise France, Caribbean Export will implement its e-Commerce acceleration project until 2023: the Virtual e-Commerce Accelerator Programme (VEAP). It will target Business Support Structures (BSS) and companies in the 15 CARIFORUM countries. These beneficiary structures will be supervised by a team of trainers and coaches in the fields of website development and e-Commerce operations. This could include strategy design and management, logistics, and electronic payment.