UAE and Kenya sign Investment Memorandum for Digital Advancement

The Ministry of Investment of the UAE and the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy of the Republic of Kenya have inked an Investment Memorandum to foster collaboration in digitalization and technology.

Apart from considering investments in Kenya’s digital infrastructure and AI services, the collaboration may involve the development of data center projects with a total capacity of up to 1,000 megawatts. In the AI domain, there will be an assessment of the technical and investment potential for developing Large Language Models.

His Excellency Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE’s Minister of Investment, and His Excellency Eliud Owalo, Cabinet Secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, signed the Investment Memorandum.

Kenya’s digital economy has seen substantial growth, particularly in the ICT sector, which has outpaced all others, expanding by 23% annually over the last decade. As East Africa’s largest economy, Kenya is increasingly becoming a favored investment destination for data center providers, driven by growing demand for cloud services, improved business conditions, and new market players. The local data center market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 11.22% between 2023 and 2028.

The Memorandum aims to facilitate robust relationships between public and private sector entities in both countries to enable cooperation in digital infrastructure projects. It also proposes implementing incentives to support relevant initiatives.

Integral to the Memorandum is the concept of a “digital corridor,” representing an interconnected network infrastructure enabling secure data exchange, hosting, processing, and transmission between the UAE and Kenya.

Minister Alsuwaidi stated, “A closer partnership between our two nations harbours remarkable opportunities in numerous fields that can contribute to the continued strengthening and advancement of our economies. Through targeted investments in digital infrastructure and artificial intelligence, this Investment Memorandum is set to accelerate the development of a sector that has the potential to become a growth driver for other industries, setting out a vision for the future defined by prosperity and progress.”

Eliud Owalo commented, “Collaboration between Kenya and the UAE goes beyond strategy; it is poised to strengthen the bonds between our two nations. With the potential to bridge the digital divide in Africa, expedite technological innovation, and foster a sustainable future for the ICT industry, this partnership will pave the way for a more inclusive and interconnected digital world.”

The signing of the Memorandum follows the UAE and Kenya finalizing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), marking a milestone as the first CEPA between the two countries. This agreement deepens investment ties and boosts bilateral non-oil trade, which amounted to USD 3.1 billion in 2023, up 26.4% from 2022.

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