The World Bank (WB) has earmarked about USD 15 million to enhance and accelerate regional digital integration efforts across the East African Community (EAC).
As explained in a statement issued on 17th December 2022 by the EAC, the WB through its Single Digital Market (SDM) initiative aims at supporting the region to become a more deeply integrated and dynamic digital investment, innovation, and growth hub.
The project will focus on connectivity market development and integration, which entails creating an enabling legal, regulatory, and ICT institutional environment to enhance digitalization in the region.
The project scope was deliberated on in a meeting held at the World Bank offices in Washington D.C. between the EAC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mathuki and the World Bank team led by Mr. Mohammed Essakali, Manager, Africa Regional Integration and Ms. Casey Torgusson, the Global Manager, Digital Development.
Dr. Mathuki noted that EAC is looking at establishing regional digital innovation hubs across the Partner States to respond to digital challenges.
“This support will further enhance the region’s competitiveness and skills development that are central to successful digital transformation,” he added.
Further, the project will look into data market development with the setting up of cybersecurity frameworks, infrastructure, and capacity building.
The digitalization project will further look into enhancing mechanisms to develop cross-border electronic trade and payments and e-commerce initiatives.
The Secretary-General further added that the EAC plans to implement Smart Gates at its One-Stop Border Posts, which will help to track regional trade and reduce the time taken at borders through migration processes.
The project is aligned with the EAC strategic objective and commitment to move towards a single digital market in the Community.