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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

ITU Sec-Gen to visit Nigeria

Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Dr Hamadoun Touré, will be on a three-day official visit to Nigeria from Thursday, April 10 through Saturday April 12, 2008.

Dr Touré is expected to meet with top government officials in the country to draw attention to the Connect Africa Initiative of the ITU.

Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko, said in a press statement that this would be the first time the Secretary-General of the ITU, the world telecommunications regulatory body, would officially visit Nigeria since the establishment of the United Nations agency.

Dr Touré is scheduled to meet with President Umaru Yar’Adua as well as other top government officials including the Minister of Information and Communications and the Board and Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission in Abuja during his visit.

He will also be meeting the Chief Executive Officers of leading information and communications technology (ICT) companies at a dinner in his honour in Lagos.

While in Nigeria, Dr Touré will also visit projects related to the ITU Connect Africa Initiative such as the Digital Bridge Institute, the Digital Awareness Projects of the NCC and some Universal Access Projects of the Nigerian civil society.

The Connect Africa Initiative being championed by Dr Touré aims to bring together governments, the private sector and other partners to carry out projects aimed at developing the continent’s ICT infrastructure.

The initiative was launched at a summit of leaders in Kigali, under the patronage Mr. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, and the Chairman of the African Union and President of Ghana, Mr. John Kufuor, on 29 and 30 October, 2007.

Dr Touré was elected Secretary-General of ITU at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, in November 2006 and took office on 1 January 2007. He is the first African to occupy the position.


It is also noteworthy that the Secretary-General’s visit coincides with the period Nigeria attained the position of the largest telecommunications market in Africa by overtaking South Africa in number of active connected lines by January 2008.

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