Africa Business Communities

[East Africa Business Week] Bob Koigi: Enhancing regional digital integration

As East Africa seeks to become a more deeply integrated and dynamic digital investment, innovation, and growth hub, it is exploring initiatives and partners to help it drive that agenda as it seeks to boost its competitiveness as an investment hub.

To this end, it is partnering with the World Bank on a $15 million project that will focus on connectivity market development and integration, which entails creating an enabling legal, regulatory, and ICT institutional environment to enhance digitalization in the region.

The digitalization project will further look into enhancing mechanisms to develop cross-border electronic trade and payments and e-commerce initiatives. 

At the same time, the region is betting on the recently approved regional bioeconomy strategy to promote food security and sustainable agriculture.

The strategy – the first of its kind in Africa and the second in the world after that of the European Union – will increase opportunities for the EAC Partner States to deepen their cooperation in developing a sustainable and resilient bioeconomy.

In other news that shaped the region this week, The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) has extended a $100 million trade finance facility to Agri Commodities and Finance FZE-LLC (ACF), a subsidiary of the Export Trading Group (ETG), one of the largest agricultural supply chain operators in Africa.

Nexgen Packaging, provider of trim and packaging solutions for retail and brands, has announced the construction of its African headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Kenya will serve as Nexgen's primary production location for Africa and will add to the capabilities and capacities of Nexgen's operations in Ethiopia, Egypt and West Africa.

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the Embassy of Italy in Nairobi and Eni have launched SEMAKENYA II programme to test climate-resilient agronomic practices and technologies in Makueni County.

The initiative, funded by the Italian Cooperation for an amount of 2 million euro will support the cultivation of castor-oil plant varieties on pilot fields and the valorisation of local drought-resistant crops, such as legumes and tropical fruits, with strong commercialisation potential on national and international markets.

Rwandan pension fund RSSB, Norfund and SOS Children’s Villages are investing in the Katapult Africa Accelerator Program. Nine agriculture and technology startups will receive funding to scale up new solutions that will both create jobs and increase food security.

Huawei has partnered with Tanzania government to provide network coverage on Mount Kilimanjaro. The high speed internet coverage was provided on Uhuru Peak, at the top of Africa's highest mountain at 5,985 metres above sea level, as well as rest huts along the way, including Horombo and Kibo.

Bob Koigi is the East African Region Editor at Africa Business Communities




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