Kenya and UAE Unite on Digital Infrastructure Expansion

Business View
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Kenya and UAE Unite on Digital Infrastructure Expansion

To increase digital cooperation, Kenya has joined hands with the UAE. In this significant move to drive digital cooperation and digital advancement in both countries, the Ministry of Information, Communications, the Ministry of Investment of the UAE, and the Digital Economy of the Republic of Kenya have signed an investment Memorandum of understanding (MoU). This agreement establishes a thorough framework for technological and digital cooperation. The comprehensive framework enables countries to explore and open new opportunities in digital infrastructure and artificial intelligence (AI) services in the Eastern Africa region. The investment MoU will not only expand the digital infrastructure but also bring new job opportunities. 

This cooperation also expanded to developing data centre projects, with a combined capacity of up to 1,000 megawatts. In addition to this, the potential for advancing large language models in AI will be evaluated. The investment collaboration will also work in the mining sectors. Meanwhile, ADQ, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, declared a finance framework agreement with the Ministry of Kenya, encouraging investments in priority sectors of the economy of Kenya, with a potential investment total of US$500 million. 

Kenya has substantial potential for expansion in the mining industry because of its large reserves of non-metallic minerals, copper, gold, ilmenite, and tantalum. The development of this sector has the potential to significantly boost Kenya’s economy by creating jobs, enhancing living standards, and establishing the country as one of Africa’s leading mining hubs. This investment will boost the economy of Kenya. With almost 40% of the GDP in the region coming from its economy, Kenya is likewise the largest economy in East Africa. Kenya is also known as the “Silicon Savannah”.

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The MoU aims at mineral marketing, refining marketing, mineral processing, mineral exploration, and mine development in Kenya. In the MoU, one of the main objectives is to look for more opportunities for technology transfer in the mineral sector of Kenya, that would support growth and innovation. Kenya and UAE will also assess avenues for joining hands in promoting responsible stewardship of the mineral sector, with a strong focus on social, governance, and environmental practices, in addition to examining avenues for partnership in research and development within the designated sectors. 

After signing the investment MoU, the Minister of Investment of the UAE, Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi stated “This Memorandum of Understanding marks a new chapter in the sharpened economic journey of the UAE and Kenya. Through this partnership, we are laying down the foundation for a future where sustainable mining practices, innovation, and responsible stewardship form the pillars of our mutual growth. We are committed to leveraging technology to enhance capacities and establish robust governance practices that will not only propel the mineral sector but also ensure the overall prosperity of our nations.”

If we look at the ICT sector of Kenya, over the last 10 years, the country has witnessed a remarkable annual expansion of 23% with IC exceeding other industries. No doubt, Kenya has become a popular data centre provider, driven by growing demand for cloud services, enhanced business conditions, and the migration of businesses towards digital solutions. Based on projections, the local data centre industry is expected to increase at an average yearly growth rate of 11.22 per cent between 2023 and 2028.

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