East Africa

World Bank further notes that the unified digitisation of the East African economy is estimated to generate up to a US$2.6 billion boost in GDP and 4.5 million new jobs that will largely benefit those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Data by GSMA reveals that by the end of 2020, 495 million people subscribed to mobile services in Sub-Saharan Africa, representing 46 percent of the region’s population, an increase of almost 20 million on 2019.

GSMA revealed that smartphone connections will more than double by 2025 in Sub-Saharan Africa with the East African Community registering the largest incremental growth, led by Rwanda and Tanzania. 

There is a fear among the East African Chairs that such hurdles may encourage unneeded rivalry and retaliatory limitations.

During the lockdown, families were dispersed and enterprises were shut down as women cross-border traders chose to conduct business on the Tanzanian side owing to the lockdown and the 14-day quarantine requirements on the Ugandan side.

The Mutukula border clears 150-200 trucks of Tanzanian merchandise daily with a one-hour clearance period for each vehicle.

The AfCFTA is the largest trade agreement, by composition of countries enjoined, since the formation of the World Trade Organization. Currently, 54 out of the 55 African countries have signed the AfCFTA, with 41 having ratified it.

The agreement is set to ultimately open up the African market to trade freely, will boost intra-African trade and trigger structural transformation with the goal of reducing poverty.