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Director-General of Expertise France visited Estonia to Discuss Future Cooperation

Expertise France visit ESTDEV

A high-level delegation from the French international technical cooperation agency Expertise France (EF), led by Director-General Jérémie Pellet, visited Estonia to explore possibilities for collaboration in a Team Europe approach. The Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV), as a new member of the Practitioners’ Network, is looking forward to establishing a deeper engagement with EF on building knowledge through exchanges and coordination, and learning from each other.

“I would like to congratulate Expertise France for assuming the presidency of the Practitioners’ Network and also express our gratitude for a very smooth and inclusive planning process. As a new and small entity, we feel heard within the network and appreciate the opportunity to welcome Mr Pellet to Tallinn,” commented Andrea Kivi, Acting Executive Director of ESTDEV.

“Congratulations to ESTDEV for joining the Network a few months ago. One of Expertise France’s priorities for the Network is to promote inclusiveness in the Team Europe approach, encouraging co-creation and joint implementation. In that sense, it is essential to have Estonian partners in the Network, for effective delivery of international cooperation”, claimed Jérémie Pellet, Director-General of EF.

Estonia and France have already formed successful partnerships through multilateral initiatives including Team Europe’s activities in Africa.

“Estonia and France together with three other member states are successfully implementing the pilot project under European Union’s Digital for Development (D4D) Hub, to provide demand-driven technical assistance on human-centric digital transformation to partner countries in Africa. The project has shown that cooperation in a true Team Europe spirit enables the creation of synergies between member states’ expertise, thus providing more value to our partners and contributing to operationalising the AU-EU digital cooperation agenda,” commented Kairi Saar-Isop, Director General of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.

EF and ESTDEV exchanged perspectives of synergies and joint collaboration, in particular on digital innovation. Both institutions reaffirmed their ambitions to foster joint implementation in Eastern Partnership countries and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In Africa, EF are working together with ESTDEV on Botswana’s digital transformation, data governance in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Africa-Europe Digital Innovation Bridge (AEDIB) with a particular focus on strengthening green innovation in Africa and setting up academic collaboration between the two continents.

“ESTDEV has actively been designing a number of Team Europe initiatives with EF and other members, whilst always maintaining a digital focus. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to showcase Estonia’s digital solutions, as they are key in accelerating development. We look forward to adapting these solutions into joint-programming with EF and further strengthening our partnership with them,“ explained Katrin Winter, ESTDEV’s Regional Head for Africa.

During his visit to Estonia, Director General Jérémie Pellet was accompanied by Jérôme Heitz, the Director of the EF Brussels office and Xavier Cousquer, Director of the Peace and Stability Program. The mission  visited the e-Estonia Briefing Centre, exchanged with the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was welcomed by ESTDEV for in-depth dialogue.

Expertise France, as the French public international cooperation agency, designs and implements projects which aim to contribute to the balanced development of partner countries, in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda and the priorities of France’s external action.