Estonia to boost ICT cooperation with East Africa ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The digital signing.
The digital signing. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Estonia signed a cooperation agreement with the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) and the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL) on Monday.

The cooperation agreement with EASTECO is the first memorandum to be signed virtually and will establish the basis for cooperation in the field of information and communication technology between EASTECO member states and the ICT cluster as the implementing body.

Cooperation with ITL continues with the aim of increasing the export opportunities of Estonian companies.

EASTECO comprises Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan. Margus Rava, the Estonian Ambassador at Large for African Economic Affairs, recently took office to further boost the African policy area.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said the virtual signing of the cooperation agreement was a good demonstration of how as a digital state, Estonia was showing an innovative approach in diplomacy as well.

"Estonia is unparalleled when it comes to e-state infrastructure and expertise; it is one of the reasons why many countries and organisations wish to cooperate with Estonia on digital issues," Reinsalu said.

The foreign minister said Estonian companies were increasingly interested in Africa.

"One of our missions is to increase the visibility of Estonian companies on foreign markets. By cooperating with ITL, we can reinforce our external economy through high-level foreign visits, pop-up digital embassies and proactive information exchange," Reinsalu said.

ITL's President Andre Krull said he was happy to see that the cooperation between the ITL and the Foreign Ministry was growing and becoming increasingly specialised.

"Both agreements signed today show that we are standing up for the interests of Estonian companies on foreign markets together. We are working towards a unified information exchange between the public and private sector to encourage exports," Krull said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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