EAC digitization programmes receive 35 million euros from EU

Arusha. The European Union (EU) has granted 35 million euros to roll out a digitization programme in East Africa.

The money will be spent on different aspects of digital transformation in the region through capacity building.

This was revealed here on Friday when a regional conference on digital transformation got underway.

Mr Jose-Luis Gonzalez, the EU programme manager for Tanzania, outlined the projects that would benefit.

These include e-commerce development, cybersecurity protocols, data governance, and ICT regulations.

He said for Tanzania, a financing agreement had been signed with the government way back in 2021.

The agreement between the EU and the Finance Ministry will remain in force during the lifespan of the project, which expires in 2027.

Areas of support will largely be in regulations, policies, and digital financing solutions.

Data protection, interoperability – the ability to connect different software systems -and engagement with the private sector, will enjoy the funding.

The East African Community (EAC) secretary general said he was confident digitization would spur economic growth in the region.

“The majority of the EAC people are youth who need employment through innovative skills,” he said.

It was through digital transformation that East Africans can easily penetrate the digital markets in Africa.

“There is a brighter future through leveraging technology. We have to be on the move,” he opened the conference.

“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,” he emphasised.

According to the EU envoy to Tanzania and the EAC, Ms Christine Grau, the 35 million euros granted to the EAC are part of EU funding to the world for the period ending in 2017.