African states interested in digital solutions developed by Estonian firms

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Andres Rundu and COMESA Director of Information Technology Lanka Dorby. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a regional African economic organization with 21 member states, wants to use digital solutions developed by Estonian companies in the implementation of its free trade treaty project, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said.

"Along with growing population numbers, the economy of the region is growing and there is an increasing desire to start using digital solutions," Undersecretary for Economic and Development Affairs Andres Rundu said in a press release. "There are ample opportunities for cooperation in that field, from which Estonian businesses and African countries alike stand to benefit."

According to Rundu, COMESA with its 21 member states is one of the most influential regional organizations in Africa.

"COMESA representatives have learned about e-Estonia's success story and have demonstrated interest in intensifying cooperation with Estonia on the state level," he said. "COMESA's interest in signing a memorandum on digital cooperation with Estonia would create a good platform and opportunities for our entrepreneurs to enter a market of 21 countries, the entering of which one by one is definitely time-consuming and more difficult."

Rundu met in Tallinn with COMESA Director of Information Technology Lanka Dorby on Friday, to whom he gave a letter to the organization's secretary general confirming Estonia's interest in continuing cooperation and its readiness to negotiate a memorandum on digital cooperation.

As its first effort, the regional organization has set its sights on a project for a so-called smart border, in which they see Estonia's Goswift as their potential partner.

"We have demonstrated our solutions on different EU borders to COMESA, and we consider their interest serious," Goswift board member Madis Sassiad said. "We hope to move forward quickly with this agreement on a smart border solution. It is positive that the state strongly supports us in this process and is lending us a helping hand."

Smart border solutions are part of COMESA's large-scale project for a digital free trade agreement (digital FTA) being carried out for EU funding.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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