Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
The signing ceremony at the French Embassy in Pretoria was attended by the French Ambassador to South Africa, Jean Felix-Paganon and other officials from the French Embassy as well as representatives from AFD, NEPAD and DBSA. Christina Golino signed on behalf of the DBSA and NEPAD, and Philippe Lecrinier signed on behalf of AFD.
In the agreement, AFD will provide a 850 000 euro (R7,9 million) grant to the NEPAD e-Africa Commission to support the development of a terrestrial broadband ICT network for Central, Western and Northern Africa.
The project will build on the conclusions and recommendations of a meeting held in Dakar in 2005 by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission to initiate the Central, Western and Northern Africa ICT Broadband Infrastructure Programme.
The support will enable the Commission to play its coordinating role while at the same time dealing with policy and regulatory bottlenecks that impede investment in ICT infrastructure in the region.
The NEPAD e-Africa Commission intends to facilitate the development of investor friendly policies that promote private-public partnerships (PPP) that are critical to ICT infrastructure development.
Said Dr Henry Chasia, the NEPAD e-Africa Commission Executive Deputy Chairperson : “We expect that the Central, Western and Northern Africa ICT project, will contribute to NEPAD’s objective of connecting all African countries to a broadband terrestrial fibre-optic network, and to the rest of the world through submarine cables.
“The network will provide abundant bandwidth, easier connectivity and reduced costs. The broadband connectivity will also contribute to the much needed integration of the continent by facilitating trade, social, and cultural exchange between countries”
One of NEPAD’s priority objectives is the promotion and integration of regional ICT infrastructures all over Africa and the e-Africa Commission was set up to manage the structured development of the ICT sector on the continent by developing policies and broad ICT strategies and by initiating projects.
Agence Française de Développement is a French development finance Institution under the French Official Development Aid framework. Together with DBSA, the AFD have already jointly committed R25 million to finance regional infrastructure projects under NEPAD. This new grant will focus more precisely on regional ICT infrastructure broadband projects in French-speaking Africa.
Source : nepad news - june 30