EAC eager to embrace digital transformation

THE East African Community (EAC) and the Digital for Development Hub (D4D Hub) have jointly agreed to foster digital transformation in the region.

This is in a bid to utilise digital technologies and innovations for regional integration and enable leapfrogging to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking here on Friday, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Christine Grau noted that impact of digital services and products on people’s lives couldn’t be underestimated, insisting that digitalisation science, technology and innovation are essential in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and common Sustainable Development Goals.

“The digital development is sweeping across the globe at an unprecedented pace, transforming economies and societies alike. In this area, we are presented with immense opportunities, but we also face pressing challenges that demand our immediate attention,” explained the envoy.

According to Ms Grau, the European Union aims to mobilise up to €300 billion investments in digital infrastructure in climate and energy, transport, health, education and research.

“Within this framework, the D4D Hub plays a crucial role focusing on the digital pillar of the Global Gateway strategy,” she said.

Ms Grau further revealed that the EU had joined forces with Tanzania in crucial measures as outlined in the recently adopted National Data Protection Act, with a view of bolstering cyber security measures and to enhance the interoperability of public institutions.

“These are very crucial elements when we talk about digitalisation all over the world,” she added.

In his rejoinder, EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki observed that as the community continues to grow, it was inevitable that digitalisation and E commerce become pillars of EAC’s digital transformation.

Dr Mathuki noted that accelerating digital transformation in the region required efforts of all East Africans; from the partner states, governments, private sector, civil society, academia, to the youth, who constitute about 70 per cent of the total population.

“With the energy we have in our youths, we can take advantage of this and try to accelerate digital transformation agenda,” he said.

The EAC Secretary General urged partner states to leverage technology, understand the global preferences and the practical situation on the ground.

“It is indeed, high time we use the digital transformation agenda to ensure we take full potential advantage of our growing population,” he added.

D4D Hub is a strategic platform that aims to strengthen digital cooperation between the European Union and its Member States and partner countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and the EU Eastern Neighbourhood. Its mission is to promote a human-centric app

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