The Centre of Excellence for Information and Communications Technology in East Africa (CENIT@EA) organised the event ICT4Business on 18 July in Kigali, Rwanda. Around 40 participants from the private and public sector discussed their needs and requirements for digitalisation and how CENIT@EA can provide relevant skills, capacities and know-how to the private and public sector to enable them to reap benefits from the digital transformation.
24 professionals from media houses and communication officers from government offices of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS participated in a media training organised by the EAC and supported by the EAC-German cooperation programme implemented by GIZ. The main objective of the training was to increase the capacity of the media professionals to generate relevant content for publishing in digital media houses and to inform them about the structure and objectives of the EAC.
The training event was opened by Director of Infrastructure, Eng. Kamugisha Kazaura, on behalf of the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko. “The mass media are powerful tools for raising awareness on various issues. The media therefore stand out as a special stakeholder group that ought to be educated if the EAC integration message is to trickle down to opinion leaders at the grassroots,” he said.
Mr Bernd Multhaup, Programme Manager of the EAC-GIZ Cooperation Programme, urged the participants “to be creative, investigative and honest in delivering content to the public. Responsible journalism is at the centre of building nations, fostering peace and unity among the different stakeholders and this can be of particular benefit to a young nation like yours and East Africa,” he said.
The training addressed two thematic areas. The unit on digital journalism concentrated on preparing and presenting content for digital media publishing, the changing landscape in this area, and public advocacy through digital media. In a second unit, representatives of the various EAC departments and organs, such as Customs, Trade, Social Sectors, East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice talked about the tasks and responsibilities of East African integration. This was a great opportunity for the media people to get to know their contact partners in the Secretariat and create professional networks.
At the end of the training, all participants supported a resolution to strengthen the relation between the Republic of South Sudan and the EAC. On the one hand, the work of the EAC Desk in Juba should be improved, and on the other hand training measures on digital media communication professionals and journalists should continue as more and more people in South Sudan use digital media.
The EAC strives to widen and deepen economic, political, social and cultural integration in order to improve the quality of life of the people of East Africa through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investments. The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community states that “the budget of the Community shall be funded by equal contributions by the Partner States and receipts from regional and international donations and any other sources as may be determined by the Council.” The EAC Secretariat is responsible for the mobilisation of funds from development partners and other sources for implementation of the projects of the community.
Based on these stipulations of the EAC Treaty, the EAC Partnership Fund (PF) was founded in 2006 as a basket pool to support EAC projects and programmes geared towards regional integration and socio-economic development, and to facilitate harmonisation and alignment of development partner support to the EAC.
Membership to the fund is voluntary and has changed over the last 10 years: a total of ten countries (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and United Kingdom) plus the European Union have contributed to the fund between 2006/07 – 2014/15, while the World Bank is a non-contributing member. Observer members to the fund include Switzerland and Turkey. The observer status enables potential members to observe and understand operations of the fund before deciding on their membership.
The Fund is managed through a set of agreed rules and regulations which have been reviewed through a participatory process and preserved as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Partnership Fund Rules and Regulations guide the establishment of a steering committee comprising representatives of all members of the Fund and the EAC Secretariat to coordinate the Fund. The regulations detail the areas of support, composition and functions of the steering committee, procedures of meetings, and audit of the Fund. The co-chairmanship of the steering committee rotates among the development partners on a yearly basis; currently Norway holds the chair of the steering committee. The Partnership Fund Joint Steering Committee meets 2-3 times a year to agree on the operational plan and budget for the year ahead and approve the annual report of the previous year
Contributions by Development Partners towards the Fund ranged between 6 and 8 million US Dollars in the financial years 2008/09–2014/15. They dropped, however, to 2.7 million US dollars in 2015/16 as only four members (Denmark, Germany, Norway and EU) contributed. In order to improve the performance of the Fund, a manager and an administrative team solely responsible for the Partnership Fund will be recruited in the financial year 2016/17.
Contributions of Development Partners to the Partnership Fund (USD)
Source: EAC Partnership Fund
The Partnership Fund contributed to remarkable results in various fields of integration such as
- Support to the operationalisation of the Single Customs Territory
- Support to the implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol
- Support to the implementation of the Common Market Protocol
- Institutional strengthening of EAC
- Support to EAC sensitisation and awareness programmes
Currently the PF faces the challenge of fewer disbursements compared to previous years. Some development partners did not release the funds they had pledged. Consequently, many of the planned activities indicated in the work plan could not be carried out. PF members will be encouraged to make disbursements as pledged and also on time to avoid delay in implementation of activities.
1897 – 1901
Railway lines across Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika open up the region for colonial development.
PTB (Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt), the National Metrology Institute of Germany, has worked in the area of Quality Infrastructure since its foundation in 1887 and is one of the leading metrology institutes in the world. With its 2,000 staff members PTB is rather a “global player” in the world of metrology and faces the responsibility involved for society, economy and science.
For nearly every physical quantity there is at PTB a working group which can measure this quantity with the highest accuracy and thus is able to further develop metrology continually. This applies to the physical base units as well as to all units derived from them. In addition to the numerous calibration services (for measurement tasks which others cannot perform with the required precision), the metrological research and development are, above all, the central points of PTB tasks.
PTB’s responsibility relates not only to the last measurable digits behind the comma and the calibration needs of the industry. PTB also promotes projects for the establishment of a Quality Infrastructure in many developing countries and in countries in transition within the scope of the German Development Cooperation. As an implementing agency of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), PTB is involved in about 40 different projects all over the world. The common objective of these projects is the strengthening of quality infrastructure, its international harmonization and mutual acceptance.
More information: www.ptb.de
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany develops the guidelines and the fundamental concepts on which German development policy is based. It devises long-term strategies for cooperation with the various players concerned and defines the rules for implementing that cooperation. GIZ is a German federal enterprise and supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. The EAC Programme ‘Support to the EAC Integration Process’ is implemented by GIZ on behalf of BMZ.
Why development cooperation?
The German government, in close cooperation with the international community, is actively engaged in:
- Combating poverty
- Securing food safety
- Establishing peace, freedom, democracy and human rights
- Shaping globalisation in a socially equitable manner
- Preserving our environment and our natural resources
Development cooperation is one of the most important instruments for achieving these goals. The German government regards it as an imperative of humanity and of reason. Reducing poverty, promoting equitable forms of globalisation and building peace are the guiding principles.
Africa is changing rapidly. In the first decade of the 21st century the sub-Saharan region saw its longest period of growth since the 1960s. The average growth rate was almost 6%, and the economies of several African countries were among the world’s fastest-growing.
In almost every country of the continent, multi-party presidential or parliamentary elections have been held. Regional and pan-African cooperation enforces this positive trend. Joint African organisations and institutions promote cross-border cooperation, shared values and conflict resolution mechanisms.
The image of the region is gradually changing as a result of progress made and opportunities available. The new political energy evident in many African countries today is creating a good foundation for strong social, economic and ecological development in the sub-Saharan region.
In a growing number of countries, an active civil society keeps a critical eye on what their governments are doing. Thanks to enhanced regional cooperation, Africa is increasingly speaking with one voice and starting to emerge as a player on the global political stage.
Regional Cooperation in Africa
Following the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, a number of regional groups have been set up across the continent. These organisations were primarily concerned with economic affairs but, to some extent, they were also seeking closer cooperation on political issues.
Regional integration received a boost in 2002 when the African Union (AU) replaced the OAU. African states have acknowledged their responsibility for peace and security, democracy, respect for human rights, rule of law and comprehensive good governance. These principles are considered to be the cornerstone of economic growth, sustainable development and effective action to combat poverty.
Today, the regional organisations, with their mandate to drive political and economic integration forward, form a connecting link between pan-African processes and the national level.
Thus they have an important part to play in the implementation of the new African political agenda.
The principal regional organisations in sub-Saharan Africa are:
- East African Community (EAC)
- Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
- Southern African Development Community (SADC)
- Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
- Central African Forest Commission (Commission des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale) (COMIFAC)
- Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale) (CEMAC).
The growing cooperation among African states offers excellent opportunities for preventing and resolving regional conflicts, providing a major contribution towards peace and security. At the same time, it provides a foundation for economic development in the region. The economic and political options open to individual states are limited – closer regional economic and political cooperation pushes back these limits significantly.
Germany is very much interested in seeing Africa resolve its problems independently, using its own capacities. The continent is, moreover, an important partner in tackling global challenges. Without the collaboration of strong African states it will not be possible to secure peace and reduce global poverty, tackle the challenges posed by climate change or resolve energy and raw material problems.
Continuing regional and pan-African integration has reinforced the positive changes seen in recent years. African bodies and institutions are paving the way for trans-national cooperation, shared values and conflict resolution mechanisms.
The African Union and the regional economic communities play an especially important role in this process. Regional cooperation and regional integration provide a multitude of opportunities to harness development potential and to protect development processes from threats posed by conflict and insecurity. Besides its bilateral cooperation with African states, the Federal Republic of Germany therefore puts great emphasis on support to trans-national regional bodies. German cooperation focuses on the following sectors:
- Regional governance reform processes
- Peace and security
- Trans-boundary water resources management
- Regional economic integration
Support to the EAC Integration Process
Since 1998, German development cooperation has contributed towards the capacity building of the Secretariat of the East African Community (EAC). As part of German development cooperation, the programme ‘Support to the EAC Integration Process’ combines measures for organisational development at the EAC Secretariat for improving economic policy competencies to establish the Common Market in East Africa.
Germany is the first country in Europe to establish a ministry for development cooperation.
213 MILLION EUROS
Total volume of funding for German EAC Technical and Financial Cooperation since cooperation began in 1998.
Significant contributions were made towards harmonising taxation procedures as well as patenting law and pharmaceutical production in the EAC economic area. A third area dealt with creating an institutionalised dialogue among the EAC, the Private Sector and Civil Societies. Support to foster information on and media coverage of the regional integration process in the EAC complement this approach.
The development of a regional quality infrastructure for the pharmaceutical sector in the EAC is supported by the National Metrology Institute (PTB).
The German government has financed the construction of the new EAC headquarters building. The main counterpart of German cooperation within the EAC is the EAC Secretariat, based in Arusha, Tanzania.
In addition, the German Government is providing financial assistance to the EAC in order to support the regional health programmes organised by Aga Khan University as well as the regional immunisation programme of the EAC in collaboration with the GAVI alliance; the Transboundary Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, implemented by the EAC Lake Victoria Basin Organisation (LVBC), in order to contribute to improved water and sanitation infrastructure in selected EAC border towns; the Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) of the Aga Khan University, a recently established regional Centre of Excellence for media education in East Africa, located in Nairobi.
More information: www.bmz.de