The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa ( COMESA) and the African Development Bank have signed a letter of agreement for a $550,000 Nepad Infrastructure project preparation facility Grant.
The Grant is aimed at supporting a feasibility study for setting up an Africa Cloud Ecosystem (ACE) project.
It will support the first phase of market analysis (pre- investment study), which will assess the market for the Africa Cloud Ecosystem and examine the bankability of the project including testing of the concept in the COMESA region.
Açcording to Dr. Raubil Durowoju the AfDB Zambia Country Manager, who signed the Grant agreement on behalf of AfDB, said the Africa Cloud Ecosystem project will be a first of it’s kind, laying the foundation to facilitate the African Continent to undertake the shift in the key sectors of Economy, Education, Government, Agriculture and Health through the provision of a reliable Ecosystem of datacenters.
“The project is a pioneer of big data in Africa and a market place for governments to request for information from all Industries such as public transportation management, retail, transaction data among others,” said Durowoju.
The study will take 12 months and, will be originated as a Continental program focussing on COMESA Member States as a pilot.
Dr. Kipyego Cheluget the COMESA Assistant Secretary General, who signed on behalf of COMESA and represented the Secretary General Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, said that the project is a priority for COMESA owing to it’s potential to reduce the cost of doing business.
It will also 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% and Small leveraged power capacity along with high cost of hosting services,” noted Cheluget.