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COVID-19 fast-tracks East African Community's digital transformation

By , ITWeb
Africa , 28 Apr 2020
Adil Youssefi, CEO Liquid Telecom East Africa Region.
Adil Youssefi, CEO Liquid Telecom East Africa Region.

The East African Community (EAC), consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, has been ‘digitally transformed’ amid COVID-19 with connectivity and collaboration tools, according to Liquid Telecom.

The pan-African telecommunications group said the EAC has leveraged its connectivity and digital solutions across its backbone to ensure close-to-normal operations.

This was in response to a ‘Joint Ministerial COVID-19 Preparedness and Response’ meeting instructing EAC member states to suspend face-to-face meetings and switch to ‘modern technology’ as a result of the crisis.

A statement from Liquid Telecom reads: “The provision of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) across a closed wide area network also supports the EAC’s own dedicated Video Conferencing (VC). With Liquid Telecom’s enhanced connectivity combined with the latest digital tools, Members of Parliament and EAC Ministries are maintaining uninterrupted close to normal operations during the virus pandemic while also delivering on its promise of regional integration.”

Liquid Telecom had already established a Wide Area Network (WAN) in 2019 - in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda South Sudan and Tanzania, all member states are connected.

“Network traffic flows are increased via the shortest path between each state across Liquid Telecom’s high capacity fibre network,” the company adds.

This includes connectivity to the main EAC datacentre in Arusha, East African institutions located in different partner states and its back-up facility in Uganda linked directly to the 6 EAC Court of Justice located in different countries of EAC and relevant authorities like National Banks and capital market authorities in EAC.

Adil Youssefi, CEO Liquid Telecom East Africa Region, said: “If ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, COVID-19 has forced us all to rethink our daily lives and how we work, and Africa is no exception. Supporting all of our customers and especially the East Africa Community at this critical time is a priority for Liquid Telecom. We have ensured the EAC maintains as close to normal operations with world-class digital services and collaboration software delivered across ‘Liquid Telecom’s East Africa Backbone’ a new eco-system for the Extended East African Communities offering enhanced connectivity.”

Eng. Murenzi Daniel, Principal Information Technology Officer, EAC said, “Business continuity is critical at the East African Community as member states continue to engage on regional matters. Even in the midst of COVID-19, key decisions still need to be made and Liquid Telecom has enabled us to stay on top of things. We have been able to hold several meetings virtually with our stakeholders, East African Legislative Assembly Committee meetings also plenary and parliamentary sessions have started online with quick response times from member states owing to Liquid Telecom’s collaboration tools. Communication among members has been seamless and we have experienced superior network performance all through. We are looking forward to continue using these tools provided for communication to enhance regional integration in both the short and long term.”

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