Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
The NEPAD e-Africa Commission amongst nearly 300 business leaders and government officials from Africa and Europe gathered in Nairobi, on September 28-29 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, for a 2-day event themed “Africa and Europe on the road for win-win partnerships” aimed to improve the business climate in Africa and promote investment.
The Forum was an opportunity for businesses to share their views, network and defend the interests of the sectors they operate in with the policy makers.
In light of their discussions, the ICT Working Group at the EU Africa Business Forum in which the e-Africa Commission took an active role made strong recommendations that will be presented at the next 2010 Head of States Summit which will focus on ICT.
The Forum recommended that the “AUC leads by example and establishes a directorate specifically for ICT with a mandate to strengthen the internal capacity of the AU to deliver effectively on its internal objectives and to provide strategic guidance on ICT issues across the continent to be passed at Head of States Summit in January 2010’’. To that end the Joint EU Africa Strategy (JEAS) is willing to provide guidance.
In view of the proposals made at the forum it is clear that the budget allocated to ICT in the context of the Africa EU partnership on infrastructure as well as the partnership on science, information society and space should be increase. The proposed interventions focus on innovative connectivity solutions, content development, education e-services, regulatory issues and ICT skills development. The working group recommended that key initiatives such as those that improved access to broadband connectivity and lowered market barriers for service providers should be supported.
The ICT working group issued a strong statement of support for the NEPAD e-Schools initiative by calling upon the AU, the EU, developments partners, AU member countries and private sector companies to rally together to facilitate the set up of rational implementing bodies to lead the massive roll out of e-schools in the at least 3 African countries.
Dr Katherine Getao, Project Manager at NEPAD e e-Schools initiative expressed her satisfaction with this indication of commitment by the Forum. She a pointed out that this should be seen as a “collective and participative exercise to scrutinize the lessons learned from the NEPAD e-Schools Demo project and build on them to implement effective and efficient e-schools in Africa in line with AU/ NEPAD principles”. Source : NEPAD, Midrand, 15 October 2009