Ratas: Cooperation with African countries beneficial to all involved

The Africa-Europe forum in Vienna, 17 December 2018.
The Africa-Europe forum in Vienna, 17 December 2018. Source: Government Office

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) took part in an Africa-Europe forum in Vienna on Monday, where leaders of European and African countries met to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation. According to Ratas, there is a need to intensify the latter, especially with a focus on digital governance and services.

Given the speed at which the African economies are currently developing, there are "several mutually beneficial opportunities" that Estonia would do well to work on, Mr Ratas said.

"Intensified cooperation will also support the economic development of African countries, and with it create new jobs as well as improve people's living standard," the prime minister added. "In the longer perspective, this will also contribute to reducing [the number of] people leaving their homes in the hope of finding a better life elsewhere."

Ratas also stressed that there are opportunities for Estonian businesses and e-service developers in Africa. "Thanks to our e-state experience, there is a lot we have to offer to African countries, and states as well as companies there have expressed great interest in our approach," Mr Ratas added.

He also said that there is interest in Estonia's X-Road system and approach to e-Governance.

The prime minister also pointed out that relations between Estonia and different African countries have recently developed, which is confirmed by several high-level visits as well as the exchange of business delegations.

Mr Ratas met with Angolan Vice-President Bornito de Sousa Baltazar Diogo on the side of the forum to discuss bilateral relations, e-governance and Estonia's candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2020-2021.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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