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COMESA, AfDB Inaugurate Africa Cloud Ecosystem Project

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Secretariat for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have launched phase one of the Africa Cloud Ecosystem Project.

The regional cloud ecosystem project will be financed with a $550,000 grant from the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility Special Fund (NEPAD-IPPF) to support the market analysis and pre-investment study for the project.

The signing ceremony for the project which took place recently, was followed by a workshop for representatives of both institutions. The first step in getting the project off the ground is a market analysis.

The project will contribute to innovation and the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises on the continent, by making consumers become better accustomed to online national and cross-border transactions.

In addition, it will host a state-of-the-art facility that will offer essential and sustainable digital infrastructure and services to COMESA member states and the entire continent. It is expected to foster regional connectivity and reduce the cost of doing business and enhance global competitiveness. The project also aims to provide an affordable, secured, reliable, fast cloud hosting system for Africa.

Despite Africa being the second-largest continent after Asia, internet penetration in Africa is the lowest at 20 percent, versus more than 90 percent in Europe and North America.

Only 22 percent of Africans live in areas covered by 2G and 3G cellular network coverage and 52 percent of them do not use digital services due to inadequate access, affordability, digital capabilities, content relevance, cyber security and trust issues.

With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement now under implementation, ICT centres will play a vital role in connecting production centres to markets in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

AfDB’s Zambia Country Manager, Raubil Durowoju said the Africa Cloud Ecosystem Project will be a first of its kind, laying the foundation to facilitate the African continent to undertake this shift in the key sectors of economy, education, government, agriculture, and health, through the provision of a reliable ecosystem of data centres.

Speaking on behalf of the Secretary General of COMESA, Assistant Secretary General, Programmes Kipyego Cheluget, expressed optimism that the project will boost sustainability of information in the region.

“We at the Secretariat are fully convinced that the development of the Africa Cloud Ecosystem project will increase the sustainability and viability of information. The Africa Cloud Ecosystem will provide a pivotal way of transitioning Africa’s community into a digital economic community”, he said.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=79285

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