The East African Region is among the areas to be covered under the ‘Global Gateway’ program, launched by the European Union in 2023.
To be implemented through the ‘Team Europe’ initiatives, the Global Gateway program will see more than 300 billion Euros being invested into digital infrastructure, transport, education, research, health intervention, climate and energy.
The European Union Ambassador to Tanzania, Christine Grau, emphasized Team Europe’s commitment in supporting digital transformation of East Africa and global partners.
Ambassador Grau believes that by working together, it is possible to harness the potential of digitalization to address challenges, create opportunities, and build a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.
The East African Community and the European Union kicked off the first EU-EAC Regional Conference on Digital Transformation with both sides committed to fostering a human-centric digital transformation in the region.
Taking place in Arusha, the two-day conference, facilitated by the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub, unites key stakeholders from the EAC region and European partners.
This collaborative effort aims to assess the current state of digital transformation in the region and explore opportunities through a ‘Team Europe’ initiative, which includes the EU and its Member States.
Ambassador Grau highlighted the European Commission’s Digital for Development (D4D) approach which recognizes the potential of digital technologies and services as powerful enablers for sustainable inclusive development and growth worldwide.
The conference attendees include representatives from the EAC Secretariat and other EAC Institutions, ICT Ministries of EAC Partner States, the EU Delegation to Tanzania and the EAC, and EU Member States.
The D4D Hub serves as an important instrument for the EU and its Member States to support transformational projects across the African continent.
This aligns harmoniously with the ambitious goals under the Global Gateway, a new strategy for the EU.
The strategy aims to mobilize EUR 300 billion in investment to boost smart, clean, and secure links in digital, energy, and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education, and research systems across the world.
The conference identifies seven strategic areas of engagement, aligning with the priorities of the sixth EAC Development Strategy, which seeks to expedite digital transformation in East Africa.
Among the identified short-term actions include boosting data economy across borders as well as benchmarking and project development of green and secure data centers (data governance); establishing comprehensive electronic cross-border health services (e-governance and cyber-security); development of systems to facilitate a cross-border e-payment system (e-commerce).
The Arusha event went in sync with the launch of the Digital Economy Package by the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, in Nairobi, Kenya on October 5, 2025.
The EAC Secretary General, Dr Peter Mutuku Mathuki, who officially opened the conference, stated that East Africa is keen on creating a single regional Digital Market comprising an online market, a data market, and a connectivity market.
“To achieve this, we must, among other things, establish political agreements and fair platforms for an interoperable regional digital market. Our Partner States also need to agree on regulations to foster digital markets, including data governance and artificial intelligence (AI) standards,” said the Secretary General.