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Home » Press Releases » Gaia-X and Smart Africa Join Forces to Establish Cutting-Edge Hub to revolutionize Data in Africa!

Gaia-X and Smart Africa Join Forces to Establish Cutting-Edge Hub to revolutionize Data in Africa!

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 10 May 2023 Gaia-X and Smart Africa are proud to announce the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), anticipating the establishment of a Gaia-X Hub in Africa. This initiative will expand the adoption and recognition of the Gaia-X standard beyond Europe, creating sovereign and interoperable data infrastructure to support innovation and digital transformation projects across Africa.

Once established, the Gaia-X Africa hub will facilitate the participation of African companies in international projects, as well as involve Gaia-X members from other hubs in African projects. This collaboration will extend the creation of common international data spaces and enrich Smart Africa and Gaia-X with reciprocal knowledge sharing on data and cloud.

One of the strategic initiatives of Smart Africa is the creation of a federated cloud across African countries. Its partnership with Gaia-X will empower it with the necessary engine of trust, meeting the needs of digital sovereignty that Africa, as well as Europe and all the countries which have already joined the Gaia-X endeavour, recognising it as a necessary element for the future of the data economy. Commenting on the MoU, Lacina Koné, DG/CEO of Smart Africa, stated: “We believe that this partnership will foster the ecosystem of African enterprises and research entities through the creation of a Gaia-X Hub in Africa, which the Smart Africa alliance is committed to supporting. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to working together to impact Africa significantly in the area of data spaces and infrastructures”.

Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO of Gaia-X, added: “Signing the MoU with Smart Africa is a significant step towards creating a more sovereign and self-determined digital future for Africa. It also confirms once more how the values promoted by Gaia-X, and the need to ensure trustworthy digital services that Gaia-X promotes with its trust framework, are universally recognised and not limited to Europe”.

Roland Fadrany, COO of Gaia-X, who attended the MoU signature, concluded: “We are delighted to collaborate with Smart Africa, and look forward to working with the new Gaia-X Hub Africa. This partnership will make us closer to the African countries, enlarge our community of members and expand the operationalisation of the Gaia-X standard in the market”.

By boosting the data economy across the continent, the Gaia-X Hub Africa will play a vital role in accelerating Africa’s economic growth and social progress, harnessing the potential of advanced technologies to create a more prosperous and equitable future.


About Smart Africa

Smart Africa is an alliance of 37 African countries, international organisations and global private sector players tasked with Africa’s digital agenda. The alliance is empowered by a bold and innovative commitment by African Heads of State to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent and usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the use of ICTs. With a vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030, the Smart Africa Alliance brings together Heads of State who seek to accelerate the digitalisation of the continent and create a common market. Launched in 2013 by seven (7) African Heads of State, the Alliance now has 37 member countries, representing over 1.1 billion people and over 45 Private Sector members committed to the vision and the advancement of Africa.



Yvan Guéhi
Head of Brand and Communications
Smart Africa Secretariat
Twitter: @RealSmartAfrica
Facebook: RealSmartAfrica


About Gaia-X

Established in 2021 as a privately funded not-for-profit Association, Gaia-X brings together an international industrial, academic, and political community with the aim of building a common standard for transparent, controllable, and interoperable technologies in order to enable the creation of common data spaces, and in doing so boost the European data economy.

Open to anyone but aligned to the European values of human-centricity, transparency, openness and sovereignty, Gaia-X’s ambition is to deliver unprecedented opportunities for innovative data-driven business models reducing the dependency from non-controllable technologies.



Robert Stefan Goia
External Stakeholder Officer
Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud


Cosmina Gantner
Communications Director
Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud