August 24th, 2023

EABC and GIZ to Explore Digital Economy Opportunities in EAC and AFCFTA During the East African Business and Investment Summit 2023 in Kampala (GIZ)

The East African Business and Investment Summit 2023 will amongst others explore the immense potential of the digital economy in the East African Community (EAC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), focusing on the role of digital skills in unlocking business opportunities.

The session on “Digital economy - Unlocking business opportunities in the EAC and AfCFTA through digital skills” organised by the East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with EAC’s Digital Skills for an Innovative East African Industry (dSkills@EA) project, will be held on 31 August, at the Speke Munyonyo Resort in Uganda.

“The rise of the digital economy offers a gateway to unprecedented business opportunities within the EAC and the AfCFTA. With the ongoing AfCFTA implementation and the accelerated importance of digital trade, harnessing digital skills becomes paramount,” said Mr John Bosco Kalisa, EABC CEO.

“The synergy between digital skills, innovation capabilities and economic growth cannot be understated. The panel session on the digital economy will provide valuable insights on how bridging the digital skills gap can catalyze employment of young people, fuel technological advancement, and drive sustainable economic growth,” said Simon Hochstein, Project Director, GIZ.

“IUCEA is strategically positioned to empower the youth in the East African region by providing them with access to essential digital skills through relevant training. This equips them with the necessary confidence to fully engage in the enormous digital transformation opportunities that abound in their world. Digital skills are the necessary wheel driving economic growth forward,” said Prof. Gaspard Banyankimbona, the Executive Secretary, IUCEA.

This session will emphasize the transformative potential of digital skills in unlocking innovative business avenues, promoting regional integration, and fostering economic growth.

The panel will be moderated by Linda Kwamboka, GIZ, and will feature the following panelists:

  • Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Uganda
  • Prof. Meshack Obonyo, Head of Exchange, linkages and partnerships, Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA)
  • Dr. Judith Leo, Industry Outreach Coordinator, CENIT@EA
  • Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi, CEO, Kiira Motors Corporation.
  • Ron Kawamara, Chairman of E-Trade and Startup Association of Uganda

The session on “Digital economy - Unlocking business opportunities in the EAC and AfCFTA through digital skills” will deliberate the following topics:

  • The digital economy: Exploring the symbiotic relationship between digital skills, regional integration, and the aspirations of AfCFTA.
  • Digital skills: A catalyst for propelling entrepreneurship, innovation, and cross-border business development.
  • E-commerce and market access: The pivotal role of digital skills in expanding market access, beyond geographical barriers.
  • Policy harmonization: The importance of harmonized digital policies to facilitate seamless trade and business collaboration.
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems: The role of digital skills in nurturing vibrant startup ecosystems and SMEs, for sustainable economic development.
  • Digital inclusion and gender equity; Strategies for equitable access to digital skills, especially among marginalized groups and women entrepreneurs.
  • Digital skills for value chain enhancement: Redefining industry value chains through digital skills and creating new value and opportunities.
  • Public-private collaboration: Showcasing successful public-private partnerships that foster digital skills development and enhance business growth.

The session is open to all attendees of the East African Business and Investment Summit 2023. Registration for the summit is available online.

During the summit, the EABC and dSkills@EA will provide an opportunity for innovators in the EAC region to showcase and pitch digital innovations to industry players.

The East African Business and Investment Summit is the premier business event in East Africa, bringing together 500 delegates from government officials, business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs from across the region and the world. The summit provides a platform for networking, deal-making, and knowledge-sharing on the latest trends and opportunities in East Africa's economy.

Find more information on the East African Business Summit here.


About EABC

The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of private sector associations and corporates from seven East African countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the private sector in the integration process of the East African Community. EABC’s vision is a borderless East Africa for business and investment. The primary mission is to promote sustainable private sector-driven growth in the EAC.

About dSkills@EA

dSkills@EA is an initiative of the technical development cooperation between the EAC Secretariat and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), that aims at strengthening employment and innovation-related digital skills of youth in the EAC and supports the industry’s digital transformation.

The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA) at the Nelson Mandela African Institution for Science and Technology (NM-AIST), and an East African German academic consortium, including the DAAD and the University of Oldenburg.

Find more information on EABC here.

Find more information on dSkills@EA here.

Photo: ©EABC