Estonia's e-Governance Academy and the National Information Systems and Services Agency (ASSI) of the Republic of Benin signed an agreement to design and implement a government interoperability framework for enhancing the secure exchange of data between government authorities as well as developing e-services for the citizens of Benin.
The agreement was signed by e-Governance Academy Director Arvo Ott and Beninese Minister of Digital Economy and Communication Aurélie Adam Soulé Zoumarou, according to a press release.
According to Ott, cooperation with the Beninese government, which began two years ago with President Patrice Talon's visit to Estonia, has developed from counselling and training to the technology deployment phase.
"There is no alternative to e-government," Ott said. "The digital transformation requires political will in particular. Benin has demonstrated this with a number of high-level meetings in Estonia and Benin. The e-Governance Academy is proud to be a partner for Benin in developing e-government and applying experience and knowledge from Estonia and the rest of the world to Benin."
"The success of the Estonian e-government model has inspired us to further develop the e-government system in Benin and redefine how we communicate with our citizens, and how we build business opportunities," said ASSI's Maximilien Kpodjedo. "The launch of the secure data exchange framework is one step in our digital transformation process, and it will not be the last."
The governmental interoperability framework development includes the Estonian secure data exchange platform based on the Estonian X-Road model with UXP (Unified eXchange Platform software) and a catalogue of interoperability solutions. The data exchange platform will be developed by Estonian IT company Cybernetica.
Riho Kurg, head of UXP at Cybernetica, said that this cooperation with Benin is a welcome step in what has already been a fruitful collaboration.
"We have previously engaged with the e-Governance Academy in Africa in the successful implementation of the data exchange platform in Namibia," Kurg recalled. "We are very glad for the long-standing partnership and are excited to embark on the next project together."
eGA to support setup of Beninese system
The e-Governance Academy will support ASSI in developing the organisational setup, regulatory framework, catalogue for interoperability solutions, guidelines, procedure and key standards related to the e-government interoperability system. Moreover, the e-Governance Academy will organise related training studies for Benin's officials and IT specialists.
The Estonian data exchange platform has been developed and deployed also in Finland, Ukraine, Namibia, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, the Faroe Islands, the Cayman Islands and Palestine.
The e-Governance Academy is a nonprofit think tank and consultancy organisation founded in 2002 for the creation and transformation of knowledge and best practices in the area of digital transformation. The Estonian think tank has cooperated with more than 130 organisations in 130 countries as well as assisted with e-government and digital transformation policy planning and implementation.
Beninese President Patrice Talon visited Estonia for two days in December 2016.
Editor: Aili Vahtla