Development Cooperation Gaining More Focus at Annual E-Governance Conference

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the e-Governance Academy (eGA), and the Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV) signed a tripartite agreement to co-organise the e-Governance Conference for the next three years, from 2023–2025.

Through this agreement, the tripartite aspires to deepen the conversation on Estonia’s foreign policy goals, including development cooperation topics, to increase Estonia’s visibility among target countries and partner organisations and to highlight our value as a donor country.

“Development cooperation provides a strong opportunity to share Estonia’s experience and know-how in building a digital society. Introducing and testing digital solutions in novel environments inspires us to see new possibilities, and this can lead to a leap in Estonia’s own development. This is why bringing development cooperation into the conversation at such an influential international conference is important for both Estonia and our partner countries,” explained Andrea Kivi, acting Executive Director of ESTDEV.

“Creating and growing a digital society is an ongoing, time-consuming process that requires further cooperation in the field of e-governance,” Kivi added.

“E-governance – and digital issues in general – is a gateway by which Estonia connects with other countries. The e-Governance Conference is one of the major events of its kind, and is an opportunity for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop global relationships and promote Estonian values,” commented Tanel Sepp, Ambassador at Large for Cyber Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The e-Governance Academy has been organising the e-Governance Conference since 2015. “In nine years, the e-Governance Conference has been a rendezvous, bringing together our partner countries, Estonian e-government developers, and international donors. Many cooperation projects have been boosted by this conference. The development of a data exchange platform in Djibouti and Benin, the creation of a digital country road map for Pacific Island Countries, and effective cooperation with the governments of Aruba, Dominica, Namibia, and the Cayman Islands are just some examples of the ventures this conference has benefited,” Hannes Astok, Executive Director of eGA, pointed out.

The 2023 e-Governance Conference, entitled “Digital Innovation as a Catalyst for Social Change”, will be held on May 30-31 in Tallinn, and will be webcast live. E-government and digital development strategists, experts, practitioners, and financiers from over 70 countries will participate in this year’s event.

This year’s e-Governance Conference also marks 20 years of work for eGA in developing digital societies. During this time, in cooperation with many Estonian and international organisations, eGA has carried out over 300 cooperation projects, involving more than 280 organisations in 141 different countries/regions. The experience gained from this history inspired the theme of this year’s conference, which will focus on a more effective application of digital innovation that develops and benefits entire societies.

Cover photo: e-Governance Academy

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Estonian Centre for International Development is a government foundation that manages and implements Estonia’s participation in international development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects, with the aim of increasing Estonia’s contribution to global security and sustainable development.