The East African Community and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), after signing the respective Government and Implementation Agreements, jointly launched the new project Digitalisation for East African Trade and Integration (DIGEAT) with an official ceremony at the EAC Secretariat.
The German Government committed EUR 3,000,000 through the initiative Digital Africa, which harnesses digital applications to achieve development goals.
The EAC Secretariat and its implementation partner Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) jointly developed the concept for the new project over the past year. DIGEAT aims to simplify the cross-border movement of engineers to render their services in all EAC Partner States. To achieve this objective, the project will improve the relevant regulatory framework and the necessary digital services and tools.
DIGEAT aims to advance on EAC achievements and the cooperation of the EAC Secretariat and GIZ in the Support to East African Market-Driven and People-Centred Integration (SEAMPEC) Project, which has supported the free movement of professionals and provided support to the implementation of the respective Mutual Recognition Agreements for professions such as engineers.
DIGEAT will build on these results with a focus on utilising the benefits of digitalisation and digital applications. To this end, it will work closely with SEAMPEC’s follow-on project, which will start in August 2022 with an overall commission value of EUR 15.3million. SEAMPEC II will contribute to increased intra-regional and continental trade for the benefit of East Africans.
Speaking at the launch, EAC Secretary General Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki lauded GIZ for championing digital programmes to create job opportunities for youths in the region.
“The DIGEAT Project is timely as it finds when the EAC is pushing for all Partner States to leverage on new technologies to support the migration of production and service delivery to digital platforms and enhance e-business opportunities across the region,” he said.
In his remarks, GIZ Country Director Mike Falke highlighted that increased trade in services and the seamless cross-border movement of professionals is a significant step to deepen economic integration in the EAC.
‘In order for this to succeed, the implementation of the existing, and potentially agreement on new, Mutual Recognition Agreements needs to be advanced. With its innovative and consultative approach and utilization of digital tools DIGEAT may offer an efficient and replicable solution, that creates efficiency and ease where currently complex administrative and bureaucratic processes hinder the moving of engineers,’ said Dr. Falke.
DIGEAT’s implementation by the EAC Secretariat will be supported in collaboration with GIZ as part of the long-standing development cooperation between the EAC and Germany. It falls under the cooperation area of Socially and Environmentally Sound Supply Chains, Trade and Sustainable Infrastructure.