Switch ON: Digital Connectivity and Trade



    Sustainable Development Goals

    This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals, as defined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


    Digital connectivity matters in development

    Core impact areas

    Switch ON’s cross-cutting delivery model combines the expertise of teams across ITC to address three layers.

    1. Ecosystem layer: looks at how business support organizations can digitalize their clients and advocate for more affordable connectivity
    2. Strategy and policy layer: disseminates evidence-based innovations in policy and thought leadership
    3. Enterprise layer: raises the profile of MSMEs to attract investment to new models in connectivity, enabling them to trade digitally

    Partnerships with local and international companies are expected to play a key role, and will require the contribution of partners beyond those traditionally engaged in "Aid for Trade".

    These partners may have a far more specific and technical role in delivering connectivity and infrastructure and services. ITC will ensure that MSMEs receive appropriate attention and support to meet their potential. We welcome discussions on how we can best work together toward this outcome.

    Impact areas

    Ambitions of Switch ON

    • Enable institutions to implement policy and initiatives so MSMEs can access and use the internet;
    • Affordable and reliable connectivity, in towns of all sizes;
    • Easy, affordable access to online payments;
    • Vibrant e-commerce services, including local marketplaces and other service providers;
    • Digital entrepreneurialism, built on the development and uptake of local solutions.

    Zambia: First Switch ON country

    In the initial phase, in 2022, ITC proposes to evaluate the potential for connectivity to digital trade in Zambia.

    The initial phase will define how to support the Government of Zambia’s ambitions, while also looking at how to work with private businesses to develop the case for investment in digital connectivity.

    Zambia would have a particular role to play as a pilot country. We would aim to define a programme that results in further projects in Zambia itself, in other African countries, and beyond.

    ecomconnect [at] intracen.org (Contact us) to explore how to become a Switch ON partner.


    ITC contact

    ecomconnect [at] intracen.org