Regional integration efforts in the East African Community (EAC) have advanced rapidly in recent years as the EAC Partner States move to harmonize their economies, transform their societies, and improve standards of living. National leaders have made regional digital transformation a key pillar of the EAC’s modernization agenda, as laid out in Vision 2050 and the 6th EAC Development strategy. In 2019, all heads of Partner States of the EAC approved the roadmap, ten-year strategy, and costed implementation plan for the Digital Regional East African Community Health Initiative (the Digital REACH Initiative or DRI), which is overseen by the EACs’ East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC).
To further this, Vital Wave, with support from USAID and PATH, and in partnership with the EAC, undertook the creation of a cross-sectoral EAC Regional Digital Strategy to support the Community’s ambitious and novel vision to develop a regional EAC Shared Services Platform to deliver multi-sectoral e-services across the region. By aligning the EAC around a shared vision for digital transformation and establishing a Shared Services Platform, the Strategy aims to overcome fragmented systems and redundant investments within each Partner State, enabling harmonized, efficient, and scalable ubiquitous digital services across the region.
The Strategy builds on an analysis of existing digital assets and capabilities among EAC Partner States by applying an Enterprise Architecture (EA) framework. The work was also informed by several in-person regional and Partner State meetings involving over 130 participants representing the priority sectors (agriculture, climate change, education, health, and trade/e-commerce) and other regional ministries, agencies, and departments. The draft EAC Regional Digital Strategy will move through a series of EAC protocols over the next year prior to being ratified by the EAC Heads of Government in the Fall of 2024.
At the same time, Vital Wave developed costed implementation plans for the initial Digital REACH Initiative programs, EAC Cloud, and Regional East African Disease Surveillance Control and Response (READSCoR). These two implementations, once funded, will begin the journey of delivering a regional shared services platform across the EAC region enabled through the Enterprise Architecture approach.
Current documentation that is available includes the National Country Consultation Briefs. These summarize inputs gathered from participants in the EAC Digital Strategy National Consultation meeting that took place in Kampala at Hotel Africana on 26th and 27th of January, 2023.