Lauri Haav, MD of e-Residency.
The Estonian government has expanded its e-residence digital ID initiative for entrepreneurs in SA, to cope with the increase in digital nomads as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Regarded as the world’s first digital residency initiative, the e-Residency program was introduced by the Estonian government in 2014.
Each member of the e-Residency community to whom an e-resident digital ID has been issued has a secure digital identification means that allows them to access the operation of their business 100% online within the ‘European Union. It also provides access to Estonia’s electronic services, allows entrepreneurs to sign documents digitally and helps them to start and manage their business entirely online.
The program is available in other parts of the world, reaching over 80,000 digital entrepreneurs since its inception.
SA was chosen as one of the four new global destinations, to meet the growing demand from local entrepreneurs looking to expand their business internationally and expand into the European market.
Other new markets for the program include Brazil, Singapore and Thailand.
During an online launch event yesterday, Lauri Haav, Director General of the e-Residency Division of the Government of Estonia, said that SA has one of the highest numbers of e-residency applicants in Africa and was on the list of the top 50 candidate countries, alongside Brazil and Singapore. .
The job uncertainty created by COVID-19 has prompted more people to start on their own, making e-Residency an option for moving businesses forward.
âExpanding our digital and physical network and empowering businesses is always a priority for us, and this launch has been underway for some time. Entrepreneurs, business leaders and freelancers around the world have so much to offer, and we hope that facilitating the e-Residency membership process will encourage more of them to choose us to help grow their business. business, ânoted Haav.
The Estonian government has partnered with BLS International to issue e-Residency cards locally, with a new pick-up point opened in Johannesburg at 191 Bekker Road, Vorna Valley, Midrand.
BLS is a global technology services partner for governments and citizens around the world, specializing in the issuance of visas, passports, consular documents, citizens, e-governance, biometric services and e-visas for more than 46 governments.
âAlthough the global pandemic has limited our ability to travel, work and do business across borders, it has also accelerated the digital transformation of governments, businesses and the self-employed,â said Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.
âAs more people choose to live and work without getting stuck in one place, there is a growing need for a digital toolbox with no location to support them. As the world’s first digitally transformed state, Estonia is pleased to welcome even more freelancers, entrepreneurs, business owners and self-employed people from around the world to join our online residency program. “
To apply for the e-Residency program, visit the Website.