The informal meeting of EU ministers was held on 11 September. Promoting the use of digital solutions and technologies in development cooperation is one of the main priorities of the Estonian Presidency in the field of development cooperation.
Ansip mentioned the Digital4Development initiative, supported by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, under which there should be a digital component in any development initiative.
The Commission Vice President said €32 billion has been spent from the EU budget for development over the last ten years, and another €82 billion from the member states. But the part spent on digital had been very small – about 500 million in total. In comparison, he said, French multinational telecommunications corporation Orange was investing €1 billion every year, or even more.
The use of smartphones is developing fast in Africa. Farmers who are able to get information about market prices are able to increase their revenue by 20%, Ansip said.