The East African Community (EAC) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) jointly developed the project Digitalisation for East African Trade and Integration (DIGEAT) as an innovative step toward removing obstacles preventing the cross-border mobility of professionals in East Africa.
However, professionals in the region are restricted in their ability to provide their services on a regional level by the absence of a straightforward, standardised method to evaluate work qualifications between Partner States. As a result, cross-border freedom of movement is impeded. Due to the lack of a framework for data exchange between national professional registries across the EAC Partner States, professionals with accreditation in their home country must go through the same process in the destination country.
The steps used by DIGEAT consist of two parts intending to enhance the conditions that allow engineers to move around and provide their services in the EAC. One effort to increase engineers' regional mobility focuses on improving digital services, and this entails carrying out process analysis in the Partner States and documenting the outcomes. Additionally, it offers suggestions for boosting process execution efficiency. In this context, DIGEAT also emphasises the technological optimisation of national registers, the organisation of workshops on data exchange systems, and their legal frameworks and adaptations.
The developed draft of the regulatory framework will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for their political endorsement. The genesis of the framework builds on two pillars: The establishment of a multistakeholder forum, which involves representatives of crucial parties, e.g., engineering associations, immigration authorities, and private and public sector representatives.
The second step eyes on the level of individual capacity. DIGEAT introduces and develops a guideline for cross-border data exchange among the professional group of engineers. Furthermore, the guide will contain detailed instructions and training content on regional data exchange, data governance, data protection, process, and tools, together with training of experts from authorities and professional groups.
For additional information, look at the DIGEAT factsheet here.
© GIZ/Selahadian Ali