Cementing regional integration with a mobile

09Mar 2016
The Guardian
Cementing regional integration with a mobile

Advancements in ICT are no longer in the realms of science fiction but rather, they play a central role in day to day socio-economic and political development.

From a farmer in a remote village receiving real time market prices for his crops in Dar es Salaam via his mobile phone to a neurosurgeon at the Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam receiving real time information from a counterpart in California, US via his tablet, advances in ICT are changing how we operate.

Taking the pedestal of these advancements are mobile phone Applications.

There is now an App for nearly everything, Apps for games, Apps office operations, Apps to socialize, Apps for maps, health Apps, movie Apps, dating Apps and even an App to study the stars.

Now, there is an App to inform you of the East African Community (EAC) integration process in real time!

The EAC has thus far made great strides having secured a Customs Union a decade ago, a true milestone in the regional integration process and having also finalized a Common Market protocol that allows free movement of goods, people, labour, services and capital from one Partner State to another.

The EAC is also well underway to pass rights of residency without restrictions across the bloc and is also already working on a Monetary Union.

Suffice to say, with achievement of the above, the EAC Partner States envisage coming together to form a super-state under a single political government.

But, a challenge remains, how much are East Africans themselves informed of what is happening?
To answer this query, the EAC has turned to the advances of ICT and launched a mobile App to raise awareness of its activities to its citizens and the world over.

The EAC Secretariat is proud to unveil the EAC Mobile Application version 3.2 designed to disseminate news, information and reports in a timely manner covering current state of affairs across the region.

Dubbed ‘EAC in the Palm’ the App is free, easy to use and readily available for download.

It is the EAC’s new tool to disseminate information as well as track reports on development programmes in the region.

The App is the brain child of four Ugandan youth who are members of the EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform.

The App gives the EAC Secretariat the capacity to promptly disseminate information to all citizens of the community and the rest of the world through their individual smart phones.

In so doing, the EAC App advances one to one sensitisation efforts of the Community and creates a portal to rebrand EAC on the global social network by airing information on EAC activities in real time.

Just like the EAC was started by three countries, there is a tripartite relation in the advent of this App, first is the advancement in technology involved to bring the App to reality.

Second is youth innovation and thirdly recognition and implementation by decision makers.

This triangle has now resulted in a practical solution to an otherwise daunting task that has caused headaches to many stakeholders.

It sets precedence for future the realisation of youth proposed solutions to various social problems that plague their communities across this great East African Community.