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Vanuatu can benefit from Estonian e-government system

by melanin
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Estonia Ambassador Andres Unga. Photo:Wikimedia Commons. Fern Napwatt
Estonia Ambassador Andres Unga. Photo:Wikimedia Commons. Fern Napwatt

Estonia Ambassador Andres Unga. Photo:Wikimedia Commons. Fern Napwatt

Vanuatu could benefit from an e-government system that will connect everyone online and cost less.
The Ambassador of Estonia, Andres Unga, President’s Special Diplomatic Representative in Estonia’s campaign for UNSC 2020-2021, made a presentation on an e-Estonia system that is used in Estonia that connects everyone and everything is done online.
“Everything including government services are online in Estonia and why the government decided to connect everyone was because Estonia has more than 2,000 islands and it was important to connect everyone to save the cost of having to travel from one place to another,” he said.

“And we’re here to show this sample to Vanuatu as it also share same geographical features such as Estonia and connecting everything online is easier.”

Mr Unga stated that back in ‘90s the government saw the importance to connect all schools around the country because it was vital for their education sector and in 1996, the country launched its first e-banking system.
“Service delivery back then was difficult back then thus the government provided internet connection for all schools even all the villages in Estonia are connected to the internet and they access all services online,” he said.
“We’ve had innovations from e-banking to 2005 when we have the i-voting system that allows citizens to vote online on internet or mobile phones and Estonia is the only country in the world that allows its people to vote online.”
On the question of how secure the system was, Mr Unga reiterated that Estonia also has a Data Embassy which simply means that information of all Estonians online are also kept in a secure server in a foreign country.
“In the case where information in accidentally deleted there is a back up system in a foreign country that is why its called a Data Embassy, and Luxembourg is the first country hosting our first data embassy, the government is looking into signing agreement with other countries in the future as Data Embassy,” he said.
“This is a really a good system because every detailed information is online in Estonia, these details are public and anyone can see when they search for any information online- it’s best because the ownership of the information is given back to the citizens which means they can always see who is accessing their data online and take actions if the access made was relevant or irrelevant.”
Mr Unga conveyed that the e-system has cost less expenditure for the government and people of Estonia.
“The government has saved 2% of the GDP from the e-system and that percentage is used to run the country’s military,’’ he said.
“This is a sample of what this system can do for Vanuatu and the benefits it has in store.”
The presentation was made for Director Generals, Directors and media who were present at the Prime Minister’s Office Multi-purpose hall earlier this week.

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