African countries understood the value of digital during the Covid-19 crisis. Several of them have moreover committed to accelerate their transformation by 2021. A boon for Estonia, one of the world champions of digital technology, which wants to strengthen its relations with the continent.
Estonia wants to make digital technology one of the important axes of its international relations with Africa in the coming years. This was the conclusion of a virtual meeting organised last week by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the small European country to present its 2020-2030 cooperation strategy with the continent. The President of the Republic, Kersti Kaljulaid, also took part. She often took advantage of her trips to Africa to praise Estonia’s technological expertise.
According to Jonatan Vseviov, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, « the size of the African continent and the diversity of states requires a well thought-out and comprehensive approach to Estonia. As a small state, the key to Estonia’s success is innovation and openness to cooperation. This strategy creates a good basis for cooperation with African states in various fields; and Estonia’s greatest asset is to support cooperation partners in the digital and green transition.
Covid-19 has enabled several African states to realise the reality of their digital readiness. Whether in terms of development of telecom infrastructure, dematerialization of services, innovation, development of ICT skills, many have been disillusioned. Today, they are once again mobilised to bridge the digital gap with developed countries.
For Estonia, this surge of commitment from African countries is an opportunity to become a partner of choice on the international scene. If China has imposed itself over the years on the market of technological equipment, Estonia can still assert its expertise in the implementation of digital governance and the many assets it contains.