COMESA, African bank sign agreement on establishing Africa Cloud Ecosystem

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 15, 2022
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LUSAKA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed a letter of agreement in Lusaka aimed at supporting the undertaking of a feasibility study for setting up an Africa Cloud Ecosystem project.

The 550,000 U.S. dollars grant will support the undertaking of feasibility study for establishing the Africa Cloud Ecosystem, a project meant to contribute to the implementation of a state-of-the-art facility that will offer essential and sustainable Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure services to COMESA member states and the African continent.

The agreement was signed by AfDB Country Manager, Raubil Durowojul and COMESA Assistant Secretary-General Kipyego Cheluget on Thursday, July 14, 2022, according to a release.

The release said the grant will support the first phase which will assess the market for the Africa Cloud Ecosystem project and examine the bankability of the project, including testing the concept within the COMESA region.

The study will take 12 months and will be originated as a continental program focusing on COMESA member states as a pilot.

The AfDB representative said the project was a pioneer of big data in Africa and a marketplace for management, retail, transaction data, among others.

"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 reliable ecosystem datacenters," he said.

Mulenga Kapwepwe, the COMESA Secretary-General said in the release that the project was a priority for the organization due to its potential to reduce the cost of doing business and enhance competitiveness by fostering regional connectivity and deepening continental integration.

"Most African countries are still constrained for lack of critical ICT infrastructure including low broadband penetration of about 10 percent and small leveraged power capacity along with high cost of hosting services," she said.

According to her, the project will lay the foundation in the provision of a premium facility mainly powered with efficient and clean energy that was affordable, secured, reliable, and fast cloud hosting system for Africa.

According to the release, the project was also expected to facilitate regional integration by taking full advantage of technologies and setting up the foundations of a duty-free, quota-free area that goes beyond the data-only aspects.

It will also increase the sustainability and viability of information and provide a pivotal way of transitioning Africa's community into a digital economic community. Enditem

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