EAC Single Regional Digital Market

The Project at A Glance

The East African Community (EAC), which is among the early adopters of digital identity, represents a highly diverse region in terms of business environment. However, to increase its share of the regional and global e-commerce markets, the e-commerce ecosystem needs to be improved.
The establishment of a regional digital economy, the East African Community Single Regional Digital Market (EAC-SRDM) will boost the digital transformation in the EAC and will also constitute an enabler for the Continent’s e-commerce agenda and contribute to the African Union’s digital connectivity infrastructure and governance priorities. In this framework, International Economics carried out a Scoping Study for the establishment of a single regional digital market in the EAC.

What We Found

The Study aimed to identify technical assistance measures from the European Union (EU) which can support the establishment of the EAC-SRDM, on three building blocks:

  • A Single Online Market
  • A Single Data Market
  • A Single Connectivity Market

Our work required a mix of desk research and fieldwork specifically to prepare recommended actions as input for a supporting programme to be delivered by the EU and other partners in order to establish the EAC-SRDM as rapidly as possible. The work was built on the initial findings of the World Bank report and incorporated information from the framework already prepared by the European Delegation (EUD) Tanzania and other Delegations in the region, as well as inputs from other stakeholders in government, business and academia. The study will set out activities that can be carried out by the EU, its member states and other partners (a coalition of the willing) to support the establishment of the single digital market.

Our Strategy and Impact

While the EAC-SRDM is still in the making, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and innovation, an essential stepping stone for the SRDM establishment, have been at the heart of the region’s development strategy. Multiple initiatives have been implemented at the regional level to foster the progress of digitalisation in the Community but divergence persists across the region.
We laid out the considerations for the priority areas, distinguished by outcomes of the interventions expected under each area and how they will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the establishment of the single digital market. The proposed interventions should form a suitable basis for the preparation of an action document by the EU for the cooperated work on the EAC digital transformation agenda. We also explored the different options for carrying out and implementing the proposed actionable programmes, including considerations for the responsible bodies, the management arrangements, indicative implementation periods, and possible resource allocation.

Our Core Solutions

The rise of digital technologies is an opportunity for Africa to unlock new ways for rapid economic growth. While facing more severe challenges compared to other continents in socio-economic development, Africa holds the potential to drive new changes by leveraging the emerging technologies. At International Economics, we provide e-commerce solutions to simplify international commerce and address trade-related issues. We can assist to create an enabling environment for e-commerce and digital trade, to maximise economic growth and development.

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