Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
The signing paves the way for fast track implementation of the network that, among other things, involves the construction of a 9900km submarine cable from Mtunzini, South Africa, to Port Sudan in Sudan. The network is scheduled to be operational in 2008 and is estimated to cost USD 300 million.
The NEPAD e-Africa Commission, tasked with developing ICT policies, strategies and projects, and managing the development of the ICT sector in the NEPAD context, has been coordinating the initiative.
Said Dr Henry Chasia, of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission : “We now have a critical mass of countries that have signed the protocol, and a contiguous territory to enable us to start planning the construction of the network. Other countries that have not signed can accede to the protocol in the future.”
It is envisaged that once implemented, the broadband infrastructure initiative will greatly reduce the costs of telecommunications and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of how Africa does business.
“The network will improve quality and reduce costs of communication between countries, help to bridge the digital divide and improve the quality of African lives. The joint development and operation of this network will also epitomise the partnerships and collaboration among African countries”, noted Dr Chasia
The inaugural signing of the NEPAD broadband protocol was held in Kigali, Rwanda on 29 August 2006, where the first seven countries to sign were Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Subsequently, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and now Zambia, have signed.
Source : nepad news - december 8th, 2006