Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
The journey so far…
The NEPAD e-Africa Commission was established in October 2001 by the Ministerial Oversight Committee of the African Telecommunication Union and adopted by the NEPAD Steering Committee as the NEPAD Task Team for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in September 2002. This action was endorsed by the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) in November 2002.
The mandate of the e-Africa Commission :
To develop a broad NEPAD ICT strategy and comprehensive action plan covering the necessary policy/legal/regulatory, logistical, physical and socio-economic infrastructure needs, with the objective of :
Accelerating the development of African inter-country, intra-country and global connectivity ; and
Promoting conditions for Africa to be an equal and active participant in the Global Information Society.
To serve as the primary advisory body to the HSGIC on the development and implementation of an effective ICT Programme for Africa. It advises and assists the HSGIC in all matters relating to the implementation of NEPAD ICT programmes.
NEPAD ICT broadband infrastructure programme The prime objective of the NEPAD ICT development programme is to integrate the African continent so as to enable trade, social and cultural interchange to take place with ease and affordability.
The programme aims to accelerate the development of ICT infrastructure, and its use for ICT services and applications, through the development of a broadband ICT fibre-optic network connecting all African countries to each other and in turn to the rest of the world through existing or planned submarine cable systems.
Key features of the NEPAD ICT infrastructure programme :
Establishment of a submarine cable for Eastern Africa, completing the optic fibre ring around Africa, in conjunction with other submarine cable systems ;
Rationalisation and development of the ICT broadband network for Eastern and Southern Africa. Connect countries to their neighbours and ensure that each land-locked country is connected to at least two cable landing stations ;
Rationalisation and development of the ICT broadband network for Central, West and North Africa. Connect countries to their neighbours and ensure that each land-locked country is connected to at least two cable landing stations.
A basic rationalised broadband ICT network for Eastern and Southern Africa was agreed by stakeholders during a workshop convened by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission in Johannesburg, 28 to 30 July 2004. The agreed network brought together a number of network development initiatives in the region, into a cohesive plan for progressing the development of the agreed basic network.
The network was subsequently adopted as a NEPAD flagship project by the twelfth summit of the HSGIC in Algiers, Algeria, on 23 November 2004.
The Kigali Protocol With a view to resolving policy and regulatory issues that may impede or prevent the realisation of the rationalised network, the NEPAD e-Africa Commission worked with experts to develop a policy and regulatory framework within which the network, including the submarine segment, could be developed. The outcome was the Kigali Protocol which, by 30 November 2006, had been signed by 12 of the 23 countries of Eastern and Southern Africa.
Those countries that were unable to sign the protocol by 30 November 2006, may accede to the protocol as soon as it has come into force ; that is, when seven of the twelve signatory countries have ratified it.
Signatory countries of the Kigali Protocol : Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
In order to facilitate the realisation of the objectives of the Kigali Protocol, the contracting parties formed the Inter-Governmental Assembly (IGA).
To secure funds for the broadband infrastructure network, the Interim IGA decided to enter into discussions with the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF), a NEPAD initiative intended to utilise pension funds from various African countries for infrastructure development.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), detailing the business relationship between the PAIDF and the Interim IGA has been drafted and is currently being reviewed by both parties.
Implementation of the submarine segment It is important for commercial and political reasons that the submarine cable is operational and ready for use prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. If this can be achieved, it will result in international acclaim for the peoples of Africa and bring tremendous business opportunities.
A project implementation team will be established to fast-track the development of the submarine cable segment.
As only 12 of the 23 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have signed the protocol, the NEPAD network will be reconfigured to initially accommodate the signatory countries. The remaining countries will become eligible to be connected to the network after they have acceded to the protocol.
The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative was adopted as a high priority NEPAD ICT project by the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee in March 2003.
The overall aim is to harness ICT technology to improve the quality of teaching and learning in African primary and secondary schools, and to graduate from these schools young Africans with ICT skills who will be able to participate actively in the global information society and knowledge economy.
This is a 10 year multi-country and multi-stakeholder programme that has started with the Demonstration project (Demo) and will build up to encompass 600,000 African primary and secondary schools.
Objectives of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative :
To provide ICT skills and knowledge to primary and secondary school students that will enable them to function in the emerging information society and knowledge economy ;
To make every learner health literate ;
To provide teachers with ICT skills to enable them to use ICT as tools to enhance teaching and learning ;
To provide school managers with ICT skills so as to facilitate the efficient management and administration in the schools.
The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative will be implemented in three phases with between 15 and 20 countries in each phase.
The countries that constitute phase one are : Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda.
These countries were selected because they are on the first list to accede to the NEPAD African Peer Review Mechanism.
The purpose of the start-up Demo project is to accrue a body of knowledge, based on real-life experiences of implementing Information and Communications Technologies in schools across the African continent, in order to inform the rollout of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative.
Private companies take leading role The Commission has engaged the cooperation of a number of private companies to effectively implement the NEPAD e-Schools Demo. AMD , CISCO, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Oracle have undertaken the responsibility to organise and lead over 50 companies including local businesses to provide, at their own cost, a range of services for approximately 96 NEPAD e-Schools in the Demo stage in 16 African countries.
In view of the size of the African continent and the poor state of its ICT infrastructure, there is need to provide an overlay satellite network that will offer ICT broadband connectivity that will benefit the entire continent, especially the rural areas that will not be reached by optical fibre networks. The NEPAD e-Schools Satellite Network Project is primarily intended to offer Internet connectivity to over 600,000 NEPAD e-Schools.
The NEPAD e-schools will be connected via a satellite network based on leased space segment capacity. The latter will be sourced from those companies with high-power satellite and footprints on the continent of Africa, under arrangement intended to minimise the cost of access for individual schools.
A satellite terminal will be installed at each school, with computers and other communications facilities being connected to the Internet through this terminal. In addition to the communication facilities, non-conventional power sources will be provided at those schools located in areas remote from national power grids.
Satellite “Network of Networks” The NEPAD e-Schools Satellite Network will have the potential to serve other projects that need broadband connectivity in areas not served by fibre optic networks. This network is thus designed to provide a platform for e-health, e-governance, elections activities, etc.
A study commissioned by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission in 2006 had provided the network architecture and a preliminarily design of the NEPAD e-Schools Satellite Network that will connect all the NEPAD e-schools to the Internet.
The underlying idea is to use existing operational networks in order to build a “Network of Networks” which will interface with existing VSAT network hubs for enabling internet-based connectivity at the continental level. The study was funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
One of the objectives of the NEPAD e-Schools is to ensure that the learners are health literate. Among others, it is envisaged that the Health Point will encourage the involvement of communities in the Initiative. The Medical Research Council of South Africa is providing assistance with the development and application of the “Health Point” concept.
The approach adopted by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission for this Initiative is one of “Continental Coordination – National Implementation”. It is therefore necessary that each participating country formally establish a NEPAD e-Schools National Implementation Agency, which will be responsible for all operational aspects of implementation at the national level.
The NEPAD e-Tourism Programme The NEPAD e-2010 and e-Tourism initiatives require several resources including funding to be able to plan, manage and execute the implementation of the various planned activities and tasks.
The following critical elements have been identified : (i) NEPAD Television Network and broadcast infrastructure, (ii) NEPAD Event Parks in each country, (iii) NEPAD Africa Tourism Gateway and (iv) NEPAD Africa Payment Gateway Partnerships.
The NEPAD e2010 project partnerships will include the following private sector companies that have pledged US$100,000 each for the initial operational capital : Sameer Group of Companies (East Africa), Tourism Trust Fund (Kenya), Symantec Africa and Octagon. In addition the following companies have expressed interest to collaborate with the Commission : Africa 24 Television Network with Camera Pix in Kenya, Vodacom, Cell C, ISPAD members, Google, Coca Cola, Serena Group.
Potential public sector organisations which have shown interest in joining the project include : The Kenya Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, the Commonwealth Business Council (UK) and several CBC members, UNWTO, Ministry of Tourism in Tanzania, the Ministry of Tourism in Rwanda, the Burundi Ministry in charge of ICT, UNCTAD and IFC.
* NEPAD works in partnerships with the private sector, the civil society and the international community to achieve its objectives. The partnership created by the Commission for the purpose of fulfilling the objectives of NEPAD ICT Programme is known as Information Society Partnership for Africa’s Development (ISPAD). ISPAD consists of : Country Government, Corporate Partners and Civil Society. Source : NEPAD, october 5, 2007