Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
The ceremony, which took place at the DRC Embassy in South Africa on 29 November 2006, was hosted by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission, under the auspices of the African Union (AU).
Ambassador Bene M’poko, DRC High Commissioner to South Africa signed on behalf of his government, and Dr Edmund Katiti signed as AU observer.“This ICT infrastructure project will greatly reduce the costs of telecommunications and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of how we do business. In the DRC, we rely on the cellphone to do business and you can’t do business using a cellphone. This project is for the whole of Africa,” said Ambassador M’poko.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the 11th country to sign the protocol after Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Dr Henry Chasia, Executive Deputy Chairperson of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission stated that “we now have a critical mass of countries that have signed the protocol to allow us to start planning the construction of the network”.
The inaugural signing of the protocol by seven countries was held in Kigali, Rwanda in August. Botswana and Zimbabwe put their signatures to the protocol in October and Mauritius signed on 20 November. The signing of the protocol will enable a project steering committee to be set up to fast-track the implementation of the NEPAD ICT Broadband Infrastructure Network that among other things, involves the construction of a 9900 km long submarine (EASSy) cable from Mtunzini, South Africa, to Port Sudan in Sudan.
The 23 countries involved in the network are Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Djibouti, DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Source : nepad news, December 1st, 2006