African ICT leaders seeking ideas in Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

Representatives of ACP member states visiting the Riigikogu ahead of the Tallinn e-Governance Conference 2017. May 2017.
Representatives of ACP member states visiting the Riigikogu ahead of the Tallinn e-Governance Conference 2017. May 2017. Source: (e-Governance Academy)

Estonia is clearly punching above its weight when it comes to e-services, African ICT leaders attending the Tallinn e-Governance Conference 2017 told daily Postimees.

One of the conference's highest-ranking guests was African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, effectively the counterpart of European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Andrus Ansip, Postimees wrote.

"I have been in this office for one and a half months and no matter where I go or what event I attend, Estonia is present," Abou-Zeid told the daily paper. "Is it true that there's only 1.3 million of you? I don't believe it! You are everywhere. Estonia has done it."

Africa awaits from Estonia and Europe more broadly first and foremost concepts which could be implemented in the local context.

"We don't want to do exactly the same as Estonia; what we want is to prove on this example that all of this can be done," Abou-Zeid explained. "You started from scratch and did it. There were big challenges, there were difficultie, many risks — but you did it all the same."

When it comes to IT development in Africa, the digital revolution there has been underway for quite some time already. At the same time, as Africa is made up of over 50 countries, not all of which are on the same level of development or of comparable size, it is not possible to generalize about Africa's IT-related accomplishments.

Melanie Tjijenda, deputy director of the Division of Enterprise Software and Portal Development of the Office of the Prime Minister of Namibia, said that her country has clearly understood that e-solutions are the most effective way of bringing government services to residents.

Given that mobile voice call services are available in more than 90 percent of Namibia's territory and mobile penetration is very high, making mobile services available immediately is at least as important as developing e-government services, Tjijenda said.

Estonia to share e-solutions with ACP

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas on Tuesday signed a memorandum with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) which will allow Estonia to better share and introduce e-solutions to 79 member states in Africa and the Caribbean and Pacific regions through think tank and consultancy organization e-Governance Academy.

Representative of over one hundred countries, including ACP member state, convened in Tallinn this week for the two-day Tallinn e-Governance Conference 2017 taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, which is focused on the development of e-governments and exchanging relevant experiences.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS, ERR



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