Estonia helps lay the groundwork for Uganda’s digital transformation

Via the Team Europe Initiative, Estonia and other EU member states have joined their forces and expertise to become a trusted collaborative partner in Uganda’s growing digital policy. 

To that end, the African Union and European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) Hub collaboration project in Uganda is aimed at improving public sector efficiency through digital transformation.

With the support of D4D Hub, Ugandan civil servants visited Estonia in order to identify gaps, needs, and opportunities to advance their own digital transformation.

The AU-EU D4D Hub began collaborating with the Government of Uganda in early 2022 – just when the country started re-emerging from prolonged lockdowns. Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency, organised a benchmarking trip for Ugandan civil servants to visit Estonia to identify gaps, needs, and opportunities to advance their own digital transformation.

“Estonia is a European and global role model in terms of digital transformation. The purpose of this trip was to give Ugandan policymakers the opportunity to learn from the best and to define priorities,” said Bart Cornille, Digital for Development expert at Enabel Uganda.

According to Katrin Winter, Regional Head of Africa at ESTDEV, this visit allowed Estonian partners to develop a good relationship with different Ugandan ministries and to make a match between their needs and Estonia’s expertise. “ESTDEV has over the last couple of years built a strong relationship with our partners in Uganda, both local government organizations and Team Europe. It’s always been and continues to be our philosophy to approach any new project or initiative in close cooperation with a local partner to ensure relevance, sustainability and actual benefit for the local region, country or community. In Uganda, this approach has yielded excellent results in a very short time period and our close relationship with Ugandan counterparts continues,” Winter said.

One identified issue, for example, was limited coordination between the government and other actors working in the digital field. According to Winter, one of Estonia’s key successes has been the set-up of effective public-private partnerships to advance the digital transformation. Inspired by this experience, the Ugandan Ministry of ICT and National Guidance requested the AU-EU D4D Hub (through Enabel) to organise a multi-stakeholder dialogue to meet with Uganda’s digital ecosystem.

Since then, the AU-EU D4D Hub has continued to work with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance to foster coordination between digital stakeholders, but its services have expanded to cover technical assistance and knowledge sharing activities – also supporting other government institutions.

Read the full article here: Uganda and Team Europe: Working together for a better digital future

More information[email protected]

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.