• Arusha, Tanzania
  • Recap

Recap: EAC-EU develop joint roadmap to foster digital transformation in East Africa

© Chimwemwe Mkandawire

The European Union (EU) – East African Community (EAC) Regional Conference on Digital Transformation in East Africa took place on 5-6 October at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. Hosted by the EAC and facilitated by the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub, the event gathered key stakeholders from the EAC region and European partners. This collaborative effort aimed to assess the current state of digital transformation in the region and explore cooperation opportunities through a “Team Europe” approach (jointly working with the EU and its Member States).

The conference also served as a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices with digital technologies and innovations for regional integration with the aim to enable leapfrogging to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to foster a human-centric digital transformation in East Africa.

“Our goal is to maximize the impact of digitalization as a driver for social and economic growth while working towards the achievement of the SDGs in our partner countries,” said H.E. Christine Grau, Ambassador of the European Union to Tanzania and EAC.

EAC Secretary General, Dr Peter Mutuku Mathuki, who opened the two-day conference was keen to create a single regional digital market comprising of an online market, a data market, and a connectivity market. “This is underpinned by digital skills, innovation, infrastructure, financing, and a conducive legal and regulatory environment. Achieving this requires digitalization in various sectors and integration platforms,” said Dr. Mathuki.

In total, more than 90 people took part in the event, both in person and online. Participants included representatives from the EAC Secretariat and other EAC Institutions, ICT Ministries of EAC members (Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania), the European Union, and EU Member States – including Germany, which played an important facilitation role during the conference.

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