Speeches

At the high-level meeting on digital issues within the framework of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa

At the high-level meeting on digital issues within the framework of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa

Thank you for inviting me. I begun this speech in French, because multilingualism is very important for Estonians, since Estonia is a small country with only 1,3 million people.

I am telling you a story of a country, which 30 years ago was poor and living under the level of extreme poverty. This country had just regained its independence and we were told by all to follow their example. To do what they have been doing before. “Don’t worry, do just like we do and then you will catch up with us.” We, the young government of our country, realized that it cannot be true.  If you are doing exactly the same things that others have been doing before you, then you are never going to catch up. We realized that we must do things differently.

Here in this continent I see a smart start-up continent. I am relying on our own experience. No one considered us smart and start-up. We proved them wrong. I know you are smart and start-up. 30 years from now everybody will look with admiration at this start-up continent, which has developed quickly thanks to embracing the new technologies. I am sure this will come true.

Back to my own country. What did we have 30 years ago? We had nothing, no tax offices, no government offices; no bank offices .We had nothing. While our people wanted services like everyone everywhere and while we are a country, which is not densely populated.

Banks were already going online and offering digital services. First internet banking services in Europe came online in 1996-1997. Yes, they were tiny compared to what we have today, but they were there. We talked to our banks and said, what if … Well, we need to collect taxes and nobody wants to see the taxman.

11.02.2019

 

News

President Kaljulaid in Munich: announcing certain types technology as being unsafe should not serve as an excuse for the non-development of e-services

President Kaljulaid in Munich: announcing certain types technology as being unsafe should not serve as an excuse for the non-development of e-services

President Kersti Kaljulaid was this morning’s guest of honour at Munich Youth Forum where she said, among other things, that announcing certain types of technology as being unsafe should not serve as an excuse for countries to remain passive in the further development of e-services.

17.02.2019

 

President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid talked with Ivanka Trump about Estonia`s e-governance

President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid talked with Ivanka Trump about Estonia`s e-governance

President Kersti Kaljulaid met today with Ivanka Trump, the adviser to the President of the United States to discuss the empowerment of women and introduced Estonia`s digigirls initiatives.

“Right now, our lives are being influenced and transformed by robotics, algorithms and AI. When talking about women’s empowerment, we should act fast because we need new kind of empowerment. Technology is a great equalizer and we need to make up for all of those kilometers that separate women from an equally free choice of benefitting from technological developments globally,” President Kaljulaid said during the meeting.

15.02.2019

 

President Kaljulaid is attending the Munich Security Conference

From today until Sunday, President Kersti Kaljulaid is attending the annual Munich Security Conference, where she will be taking part in a discussion on the future of Ukraine and speaking at the young leaders forum about technological diplomacy.

15.02.2019