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Kenyan state officials visit Tallinn as part of Kenya’s digital transformation project


Kenya delegation in Estonia
A delegation of Kenyan government officials led by Ambassador Isaac John Ochieng, the Director General of e-Citizen Services, arrived in Tallinn this week to learn more about Estonia's e-state and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

The visit was organised within the framework of Kenya’s human centered digitalisation project. The delegation visited several institutions and companies associated with the creation of Estonia’s e-state and its current operations, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Tax and Customs Board, Cybernetica, Tallinn University of Technology, the Estonian IT Centre, the State Information System Authority, the Ministry of the Interior and the Government Office of Estonia.

Kenya is a priority country for Estonian development cooperation and one of the European Union’s strategic partners in Africa. "Estonia is not a country that can offer investments to African countries in the necessary volume, but we can offer our cooperation, for example, in information technology," said President Alar Karis in an interview with Välisilm, as digital transformation is one of Estonia's thematic priorities in Africa.

Currently, the Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV) is managing the implementation of a 2.4 million euro international project in Kenya to support the country’s digitalisation and the creation of an open, efficient digital society. Kenya faces many of the same challenges in creating e-services and interoperability as Estonia once did.

For development cooperation projects in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, ESTDEV aims to work closely with other donors. The Kenyan digital development project is part of the Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on Human-Centred Digitalisation, implemented by GIZ through the Digital Transformation Center (DTC) and co-financed by Germany and the European Union. It is Estonia's largest foreign-funded project to date.

“ESTDEV is responsible for the implementation of the entire 2.4 million. Estonian NGOs, private and public sector companies and experts will have the opportunity to participate by offering their skills and services through public tenders, which will increase Estonia's influence as a development cooperation partner in Kenya and bring tax revenue to the Estonian economy," explained Andres Ääremaa, ESTDEV's programme manager for digital transformation.

In addition to being the economic centre of the East African region, Kenya is a country with growing export and investment potential. Besides supporting its digital development, Estonian development cooperation in Kenya also addresses stability, security and green economy issues in the Horn of Africa region, as well as multilateral cooperation and promotion of European values. This aligns with Estonia's strategic goals in Africa as outlined in Estonia's African regional strategy 2020-2030, which also sets goals for deepened foreign policy communication and cooperation with Kenya.