The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Undersecretary for Economic and Development Affairs Mariin Ratnik was in Zimbabwe this week for the international digitalization "Transform Africa Summit," leading a business delegation of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL).
According to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release, Ratnik's visit included meetings with the IT ministers of Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana, Malawi, Gambia, Zimbabwe and Angola, as well as representatives of the World Bank and the connectivity commissioner of the African Union. The aim of the meetings was to present Estonian IT companies and their goals in Africa. "Estonia has been very successful in the uptake of various digital solutions and our companies are ready to offer their expertise to partner countries in Africa," Ratnik said.
The meetings also had a focus on Russia's aggression in Ukraine. "We call on our allies in Africa to support the concept of an international special tribunal that would make it possible to hold all perpetrators, including the Russian leadership, accountable for the crime of aggression," the undersecretary emphasized.
Ratnik also spoke on several panels about digital issues in Africa, sharing Estonia's experience of building a digital society. She also held meetings with several partner countries and organizations during which possibilities for closer cooperation with Estonia were discussed.
Doris Põld, managing director of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL) said, that the interest of Estonian IT companies in cooperating with African countries has been growing every year.
"The Transform Africa Summit is an excellent chance to meet digital partners in Africa and get an idea of their priorities as well as points where our companies could provide support," Põld said.
ITL is an organization that represents Estonian IT companies. It has been a partner of Smart Africa, which brings together innovative African countries, since 2018. The ITL delegation in Zimbabwe included representatives of Admiral Markets, Aktors, BCS Koolitus, Cybernetica, Digital Nation and Nortal.
The Transform Africa Summit was held for the sixth time this year from April 26 to 28. The summit aims to bring together international leaders, entrepreneurs and international organizations to contribute to Africa's digital revolution together. Estonia has attended the summit every year since 2017.
Editor: Michael Cole