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Kenyan Delegation Explores Estonian E-Government Innovations: Nairobi Eyes Digital Transformation

Estonia, 13th March, 2024

County Chief Officer for Smart Nairobi, Tiras Njoroge visited Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication and Cybernetica as part of the Kenyan delegation to Estonia on an exchange program on best practices in e-government.

“While the population of Estonia is much smaller than Nairobi, the country has managed to place itself as a digital Sandbox and exports its technology services to various countries. This is a challenge for Nairobi City, which has a larger and much younger population whose tech savviness can be harnessed to make the city competitive, ” said Mr. Njoroge.

During the visit, the Chief Officer learnt that Estonia offers over 1000 e-services to citizens. Using the electronic ID card, the country has enabled citizens to use online platforms for various activities such as sign contracts remotely, use their IDs to pay for public transportation, vote online, conduct bank transactions online, receive digital prescriptions from doctors remotely, create companies, declare tax among others. Approximately 90% of services in Estonia are offered online.

At Cybernetica, a company that has been at the center of implementing e-government in Estonia, the delegation was taken through project X-Road which is an ecosystem solution that provides unified and secure data exchange between the private and public sector and it has become the backbone of e-Estonia. Through x-Road, all e-service information systems link up and function harmoniously. While each service has its own information system, they rely on the X-road to ensure secure sharing of information and the creation of a harmonized ecosystem. The result of this is a ‘once only principle’ where citizens only have to provide certain standard information to the government once.
Estonia5Mr. Njoroge shared that the idea of having a secure data sharing channel among all government departments is one that should be embraced in Nairobi. “In Nairobi City County, we must ensure that even if we do not develop a data lake, all our systems are interconnected to give Nairobians a seamless flow of services. Based on the experiences gained, we will work with all stakeholders in Nairobi City, both private and public, to create a smooth flow of data and ensure that Nairobians are not burdened with providing the same information to different entities that can share information among themselves” He said.

The Chief Officer noted that a salient feature of X-Road structure is transparency in the utilization of data through the ability to track the use of personal information in data exchange. Using the Data Tracker tool, citizens keep an eye on who is accessing their data and for what reason. “The transparency in data flow will be critical for Nairobi for the enhancement of digital service delivery,” he said.

The delegation was led by E-Citizen Services Director General, Ambassador Isaac Ochien’g, Secretary of National Registration Bureau, Dr. Christopher Wanjau, CEO Uwezo Fund,

Mr. Peter Lengapiani, Director Shared Services ICT Authority, Michael Odhiambo, IT Project head for International Projects at Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV), Triin Kangur among others.   End

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