EU, African Union collaboration on eGovernance: a potential to accelerate development and good governance (08/04/2016)

Africa is in the unique position to leap frog into digital era and harmonise e-Governance rules at the very early stage to ensure true interoperability

The title message was passed on today's EU, African Union first e-Governance Roundtable at the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa in the margins of the EU-AU Commission to Commission meeting

Mr. Andrus Ansip, the Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Digital Single Market made an extensive presentation on the EU eGovernance Action plan 2026–2020 and elaborated on practical examples of major achievements in his country Estonia – where Mr. Ansip served as a Prime Minster.

Estonia’s compelling transformation to eGovernance provides a blueprint for building information infrastructure which works for citizens, businesses and the public sector. In the 21st century e-Governance is a must and its solutions have to be open and cross-border. Africa is in the unique position to leap frog into digital era and harmonise e-Governance rules at the very early stage to ensure true interoperability Vice President Ansip explained.

A recent World Bank report “Digital Dividends” shows that e-Governance, once implemented properly, is boosting the whole economy and the impact is visible on the GDP level. There is no single sector in the economy, which would not benefit from the development of e-Governance. All sectors become more efficient and new jobs are created.

The African Union Commission represented by Dr. Elham Ibrahim, the AU Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure shared the state of play on eGovernance in Africa and urge African member states to invest and enhance the relatively low level engagement on eGovernance. The potential to accelerate development and strength good governance particularly using mobile friendly approach in Africa was reinforced during her address.

EU's single market was created 50 years ago, now it's time to make the single market fit for the digital age – tearing down regulatory walls and moving from 28 national markets to a single one. This could contribute €415 billion per year to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, Ansip noted.

During the bilateral meetings the two commissioners held prior to the roundtable – both expressed their commitment to exploit the competence of eGovernance and promote within their respective organisations.