Estonia to export its digital solutions to Benin

Ouando Market, in Porto-Novo, the capital of Benin. Photo by Babylas/Wikipedia, published under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

The Republic of Benin in West Africa is to develop a data exchange platform based on the Estonian model.

The Estonian e-Governance Academy and Benin’s National Information Systems and Services Agency have signed an agreement to design and implement the governmental interoperability framework for enhancing secure data exchange between government authorities and developing digital services for Beninese citizens. The development includes the Estonian secure data exchange platform based on the Estonian X-Road model and several interoperability solutions.

The data exchange platform will be developed by the Estonian IT company, Cybernetica – the firm has previously implemented the data exchange platform in Namibia. The e-Governance Academy will support the National Information Systems and Services Agency of Benin in developing the organisational setup, regulatory framework, the catalogue for interoperability solutions, guidelines, procedures and key standards. The academy will also organise related training studies for the Benin officials and IT specialists.

Digital transformation

“Success of the Estonian e-government model has inspired us to further develop the e-government system in Benin and redefine how we communicate with our citizens and how we build business opportunities,” officials of the Beninese ministry of digital economy and communication said in a statement. “Launch of the secure data exchange framework is one step in our digital transformation process and it will not be the last.”

“There is no alternative to e-government. The digital transformation requires, in particular, political will. Benin has demonstrated it by several high-level meetings in Estonia and Benin. The e-Governance Academy is proud to be a partner for Benin in developing e-government and transferring experience and knowledge from Estonia and the rest of the world to Benin,” Arvo Ott, director of the e-Governance Academy, added in a statement.

The Estonian data exchange platform has so far been developed and deployed in Finland, Ukraine, Namibia, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Cayman Islands.

The e-Governance Academy is a non-profit think tank and consultancy organisation, founded in 2002 for the creation and transformation of knowledge and best practice in the area of digital transformation. The think tank has cooperated with more than 130 organisations in 130 countries.

Benin is a presidential republic, with a population of approximately 11 million. Its economy remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture and cotton that accounts for 40% of the country’s GDP and roughly 80% of the exports. Approximately 40% of the country’s population lives under the poverty line.


Cover: Ouando Market, in Porto-Novo, the capital of Benin. Photo by Babylas/Wikipedia, published under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and politics and society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter and like his page on Facebook. You can write to Silver at