Estonian President visits

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid is expected in Rwanda today, information from the President’s Office indicated yesterday.
President Kaljulaid is expected in the country today. / Courtesy
President Kaljulaid is expected in the country today. / Courtesy

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid is expected in Rwanda today, information from the President’s Office indicated yesterday.

The visit is part of an African tour which also took her to Ethiopia, where she met with the country’s leaders and officials of the African Union, according to a Tuesday statement from the office of the Estonian President.

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday morning, the visiting leader met with Amb Albert M. Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, it said.

The leaders discussed relations between Africa and the European Union as well as an upcoming AU summit and Estonia’s experiences and alternatives available for African countries for the more widespread use of digital technologies.

According to Kadri Humal-Ayal, Honorary Consul of Estonia in Kenya, the Estonian president is this week making exactly a year and two weeks in office.

“Estonia is expanding its partners beyond traditional immediate neighbours. Estonia is looking into the future and beyond immediate EU and AU summit, as much as that is currently most topical, and considers partnerships that are developed very important,” Humal-Ayal told The New Times yesterday.

“In many ways, Estonia and Rwanda have similar mindsets in regard to efficiency and have great potential to collaborate in development of digital solutions and e-Governance systems, among many other fields,” she said.

Kaljulaid, 48, is the first woman and youngest person to ever be elected President of Estonia. She is the nation’s fifth president since independence in 1918 and the fourth since the end of Soviet occupation.

About Estonia

What Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, offers the world is its decades long path to a digital society. In 2000, the country launched the e-Government system, allowing Estonian government to have digital meetings.

In 2007, Estonia combined network defence with its common military doctrine. The success of the process led to NATO creating the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn. In 2010, their eBusiness registry was created and won first prize in the category of government services at the World Summit Award the following year.

The country is famed for its e-Health system and e-Prescription benefits which include: far less administrative bureaucracy for doctors, increased efficiency in the health care system, and reduction of paperwork in hospitals and pharmacies. In 2013, 95 per cent of all prescriptions in the country were being issued electronically.

Presently, Estonia holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time in the second half of 2017 – July to December.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw