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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

ECOWAS ministers want N15.1bn for WAN

The proposed Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) Wide Area Network (ECOWAN) is estimated to gulp $100 million, about N15,015,119,396.65.

The West African Ministers responsible for Information and Communication Technologies revealed this at the end of a one-day meeting they held in Accra, last Saturday, July 31, in preparation to the African ICT ministers session which took off at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja on Monday, in attempt to adopt a strategic document for the implementation of a regional Wide AreaNetwork (ECOWAN).

According to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) a statement from the meeting, a copy was made available to GNA, indicated that ECOWAN has been estimated to cost 100 million dollars.

Also, the West African ICT ministers were quoted as saying that ECOWAN would provide the sub-region with a common platform for the seamless exchange of information for enhanced productivity, expandopportunities for knowledge sharing and promote regional integration.

The ECOWAN infrastructure being developed by ECOWAS Commission, the Ministers noted is a public sector electronic governance (e-governance) platform aimed at connecting the Commission, other ECOWAS institutions and affiliated government offices of member states.

The scope, ITRealms Online gathered, would include infrastructure, application, capacity building,operations and maintenance as well as monitoring and evaluation.

The report further stated that during the meeting, the Ministers considered the report of a preceding experts meeting earlier held in Accra, on Monday, July 26, which proposed the ECOWAN governance and management structure and activities required for its development and implementation.

The implementation strategy is expected to include the setting up of a Steering Committee - the highest decision-making body - comprising ICT Ministers of member states, a project implementation committee composed of stakeholders, and ICT experts from the sub-region, and a project implementation unit to be located at the ECOWAS Commission.

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