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Digital Ghana Meets E-Estonia As VP Bawumia Holds Talks With Estonia President, PM In Tallinn

A high-level bilateral discussion on the significance of digitalisation in a modern economy, was held Wednesday afternoon in Tallinn,  Estonia between  Ghana, Africa’s fastest digitizing country, and Estonia, renowned as one of the world’s most digitized countries.

The Ghanaian delegation, led by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who has spearheaded Ghana’s remarkable digital transformation, and is on a three-day working visit to Estonia, held talks with Estonian President Alar Karis on Wednesday afternoon, before also calling on Prime Minister, Ms Kaja Kallas and other officials including Luukas Ilves, Undersecretary for Digital Transformation, Government CIO at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

As a global leader in digital economic transformation, Dr. Bawumia’s visit to Estonia is to examine the remarkable story of the Northern European country, vi’s a vis Ghana’s own digitalisation journey, which has set Ghana apart as a reference point in Africa.

At all the meetings with the Estonian President, Prime Minister and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the hosts shared how their country’s  investment in digitalisation, and their commitment to implementing same, in over two decades now, have resulted in a massive economic transformation; while Dr. Bawumia also shared Ghana’s digitalisation story of the past seven years, and how it is already positively impacting the nation, especially in combating corruption, making things easier for the people and impacting on government revenue.

Interestingly, inspite of being years ahead of Ghana in its digitalisation journey, Estonia’s digitalisation, christened e-Estonia, shares striking similarities with Digital Ghana, in the areas of national identification, addressing system, online government services and  financial inclusion.

Just like the Ghanacard, e-Estonia is built on its digital national identity card system, which is mandatory for every Estonian citizen, and can also be used as a digital signature without the person being present.

The Estonian national ID is the catalyst for everything, including filing tax returns, booking train tickets,  banking, and even voting, just as the Ghanacard  is now the basis for many things in Ghana, including banking, and seeking government services such as applying for passports, drivers license, social security, travel document, etc. The national ID card.

Another similarity between e-Estonia and Digital Ghana, is Estonia’s famed e-Government service, which has brought many public services on online, just as the Ghana.Gov online platform

Estonia’s e-Government, has brought over 100 public services online, including  filling forms online,  paying fines, booking an appointment with a doctor, checking the expiry date of  licenses and insurance, filling of tax returns, and many others, just as the Ghana.Gov does in Ghana.

Financial inclusion is another digital success story Digital Ghana shares with e-Estonia. It is estimated that 99% of bank transfers in Estonia are made electronically on a mobile phone or a computer the national ID card or Mobile-ID, just as in Ghana, mobile money interoperability has become the biggest method for financial transaction.

Dr. Bawumia and his delegation are expected to hold further discussions with Estonian authorities later on Thursday and Friday.