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President Kaljulaid: Africa could overtake Europe in the digital world

 President Kaljulaid: Africa could overtake Europe in the digital world © Vabariigi Presidendi Kantselei

14.11.2017

The President of the Republic is on a visit to Ethiopia and met in Addis Ababa this morning with the African Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga.

Relations between Africa and the European Union along with the upcoming summit and Estonia's experiences and alternatives available for African countries for the more widespread use of digital technologies were discussed at the meeting.

Commissioner Muchanda gave an overview of the negotiations concerning the African Free Trading Zone and President Kaljulaid suggested Africa consider allowing the free movement of data, which is currently not employed in the European Union. "Africa could and should learn from European experiences, and it could benefit much more from modern technologies based on the lessons we have learnt. While in Europe we are still attempting to comprehend what the free movement or data or the fifth freedom would mean in reality and how it should be implemented, African countries have the opportunity to build their digital societies up in ways to allow for maximum benefits.

This would represent a real success story and give a very powerful push to the development of the continent, allowing you to overtake Europe in some spheres," said President Kaljulaid in encouraging Africans to think and work more boldly to achieve the free movement of data. When speaking about various threats we can encounter in cyber world, the Estonian Head of State emphasised the obligation to ensure the safe identification of people on the internet and to increase the awareness of cyber hygiene.

At the meting the leaders also spoke about the upcoming top summit between Europe and the African Union and Estonia's willingness to help to establish a centre of excellence for e-governance at the African Union.

President Kaljulaid is currently on a visit to Ethiopia and Rwanda where she will meet with the leaders of the African Union and the heads of state of both countries.

Office of the President

Communications Department