Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Morshid to preside @ special Connect Africa session

Director, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), Mr. Sami Al-Basheer Al Morshid would preside over a special session of Connect Africa at the forthcoming Telecom Africa billed to hold in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, next month.

A press statement from the global telecom regulator, ITU, said that the forum tagged ‘From Kigali to Tomorrow’ has been scheduled to hold on Tuesday, May 13, 2008.

Champion Infotel also gathered that a press conference has been planned at the event to announce major initiatives and roll-out of USD 55 billion commitments to connect Africa as achieved in Kigali, Rwanda, last quarter of 2007 during the launch of the Connect Africa Initiative.

Worthy of note is that in October 2007, ITU organized the Connect Africa Summit, in its bid to bridge the digital divide it came up with the scheme under Dr. Hamadoun Toure-led ITU as its Secretary General.

Over a thousand participants from 54 countries, representing governments, industry, development banks and international organizations met in Kigali, Rwanda to mobilize the human, financial and technical resources needed to expand access to ICT infrastructure across the continent.

According to ITU sources, planned investments totalling USD 55 billion were announced to connect Africa and help accelerate implementation of the objectives of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Further important commitments, ITU said, were made in workforce training as well as policy and regulatory reform to support these investments, it was gathered that ITU is at present working closely with the Connect Africa partners to assist in achieving the key objectives, which emerged from the Kigali summit, including interconnecting all African capitals and major cities by 2012.

At the special session, there would be some keynote speakers and panellists to address issues that could move the initiative forward.

Leading the keynote speakers at the special session would be the Minister in the President’s Office in charge of Science, Technology, Scientific Research & ICT, President’s Office, Rwanda, Mr. Romain Murenzi, and Special African Envoy of the President of the European Commission, Mr José Manuel Briosa E Gala.

While the panellists would include the Chairman, Commission of the African Union, Gabon, Mr Jean Ping, President, African Development Bank, Dr Donald Kaberuka, and the United States (US) Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Ambassador David A. Gross.

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