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ESTDEV and GIZ Sign a €2.4 Million Cooperation Agreement to Advance Kenya’s Digital Transformation



ESTDEV and GIZ have signed a cooperation agreement, with the value of €2.4 million, aimed at promoting the digitalisation of Kenya so that the country and its partners may create an open and coherent digital society in 2023-2025. This agreement between ESTDEV and GIZ is part of a larger €12.2 million co-financing agreement with the European Union to open a Team Europe Digital Transformation Centre in Kenya, which was launched today in Nairobi. 

This GIZ-EU-ESTDEV cooperative partnership opens up new opportunities for the Kenyan government to build a coherent and open digital society, increase transparency, and reduce bureaucracy.

“To ensure success, ESTDEV will involve the expertise of Estonian NGOs as well as private and public organisations,” explained Andres Ääremaa, ESTDEV’s Programme Manager for Digital Transformation. “Through Team Europe initiatives, Estonia has the opportunity to share its experience in developing digital solutions and expanding the adoption of digital services. With this joint project, Estonia’s visibility and reputation as a donor country is also elevated.”

Speaking at the Digital Transformation Centre’s opening event today, Kairi Saar-Isop, Director General of the Department for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, said: “Both as a member of Team Europe and as the digitalised nation of Estonia, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of developing digital public infrastructure. Digital government services are vital not only in fostering economic growth, but also because they promote trust.”

“Estonian has partnered with the Government of Kenya to provide solutions that will enable an inclusive and human-centred delivery of public service,” Kairi Saar-Isop claimed.

Last year, GIZ, the e-Governance Academy, and ESTDEV completed a survey of Kenya’s digital maturity. This survey highlighted a lack of connection and communication between systems as the biggest challenge faced in Kenya’s digital transformation. The team also identified a need to increase the capacity of digital governance within institutions. Based on this study, the EU, GIZ, and ESTDEV have focused their future partnership on four key areas: developing a framework for e-governance, piloting user-friendly e-services, promoting dialogue between government agencies, and training officials working in the public sector.

“Establishing Kenya’s human-centred digital development project, in a partnership with the European Commision and GIZ that is made official through this cooperation agreement, was one of ESTDEV’s major goals in 2023. A lot of appreciation goes out to my team at ESTDEV and colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who have supported us during this process. 2023 continues to be a very active year,” said Katrin Winter, ESTDEV’s Regional Head for Africa.

The activities of Team Europe Kenya support the goals described by The Kenya National Digital Master Plan, share the values and norms of the European Union, and strengthen the partnership between the EU and Africa.

With today’s agreement,  the EU will contribute €6.9 million to new initiatives at the Digital Transformation Center in Kenya. GIZ contributes a total of €8 million, of which €2.1 million will go towards a cooperation project implemented by ESTDEV. ESTDEV cofinances the initiative with an investment of €300,000.