Ivar Tallo: Interest in Estonian e-Governance is the fruit of 15 years of hard work


The Tallinn e-governance conference held in last days of May urged more than 100 national representatives to follow Estonia’s experience, but still find their own way towards to e-state.

Attendance of this magnitude represents the volume of world’s interest towards Estonian experiences in e-Governance, said Ivar Tallo, the founder of e-Governance Academy.

“This interest has not risen lately, it is the accumulated result of over 15 years of cooperation between Estonian government, e-Governance Academy ja IT companies.

Tallo added that Mosambique and Argetina’s province noted Estonian success back in 2007, yet the implementation of interoperable X-Road was established 10 years later. Namibia, on the other hand, managed to establish the X-Road based system in only four years after attending our training program. “Extensive changes take time. It’s not only about utilizing technology but transforming the frame of mind,” Tallo noted.

He emphasized that other countries can’t copy Estonian e-Governance one to one. “Every nation needs to find it’s own way, considering local aspects. Secondly, there are prerequisites to fulfill before we can talk about establishing e-Governance. These are: connectivity, digital databases, interoperability framework and digital identity.”

In order to ensure sustainable progress of e-Governance local expertise is required.  Stefano Manservisi, European Commission Director General of International Cooperation and Development, hopes to see more active exchange of knowledge from Europe to Africa, regarding the opportunities of effective governing with ICT technologies.


From the left: Mr Stefano Manservisi, H.E Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, H.E President of the Estonia Ms Kesti Kaljulaid, H.E Patrick Ignatius Gomes, Hannes Astok @ the Tallinn e-Governance Conference.

African Union’s Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid noted the Estonian experience inspiring.  “We do not have to copy identically, yet Estonian achievements are assuring the feasibility,” she added.

Tallo believes that Estonian visibility has grown thanks to the e-Governance. “It encourages other small nations and developing countries to modernize their governance” he added.

3rd Tallinn e-Governance Conference was organized by e-Governance Academy with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

This conference marked the 15th anniversary of the e-Governance Academy. Since its establishment, the academy has successfully shared Estonia’s experience of building up an e-state with interested parties from more than 60 countries across the globe and has trained and consulted over 3,500 specialists.