The prime minister: increased cooperation with African countries is mutually beneficial

Dec 18
Created: 18 December 2018

Vienna, Austria, 18 December 2018 – at last night’s meeting of heads of state and government within the framework of the High-Level Forum Africa–Europe, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas emphasised the importance of increasing cooperation with African countries, especially on digital issues.

The economy and population of African countries is increasing quickly. According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, cooperation with these countries, including in the digital area, provides many mutually beneficial opportunities. “In addition, increased cooperation supports the economic development of African countries, which promotes the creation of new jobs and the improvement of the people’s standards of living. In the long term, it helps to decrease the number of people leaving their homes in hopes of finding a better life elsewhere,” the prime minister said. 

Ratas also highlighted the opportunities of cooperation with African countries of Estonian entrepreneurs and developers of the e-state. “Thanks to our experience of the e-state, we have a lot to offer to African countries. The countries and businesses of the continent have also shown great interest in our e‑government and e-solutions,” the prime minister said. “Several African nations have the potential to develop into a successful e-state like Estonia. For example, they are interested the e-office, e-health, and the X-Road in general,” said Ratas. The prime minister also highlighted the cooperation agreement to develop e-government signed with the African Union last November.

According to Prime Minister Ratas, the relations between Estonia and African countries have become closer in recent years, as confirmed by several high-level visits as well as well as visits of business delegations of Estonian entrepreneurs.

Yesterday, as part of the forum, Prime Minister Ratas met with Bornito de Sousa Baltazar Diogo, Vice President of Angola. They discussed tightening international relations, sharing experiences of e‑governing, and the Estonian candidacy for the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2020–2021.