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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NEPAD renames e-Africa Commission

As part of restructuring, the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee meeting ended its 15th Ordinary Session of the African Union recently in Kampala, Uganda with a decision to change the NEPAD e-Africa Commission into the NEPAD e-Africa Programme to drive the Information and Communication Technology (ICT)sector.

Confirming this to ITRealms Online, the Communication Officer for NEPAD, Mr. Gilles Eric Foadey, said that the name change was in line with the cohesion and rationalisation imperatives in implementing the continent development projects, as well as with the new strategic orientation of the NEPAD Agency.

He recalled that NEPAD e-Africa Commission was set up by the African Communications Ministers in October 2001, it was adopted in 2002 by the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementing Committee as the task team responsible for developing policies, as well as managing the structured development of the ICT sector in the context of NEPAD.

He noted that NEPAD had its own governance structure comprising a Ministerial Commission and an executive Committee made up of senior government officials from the NEPAD HSGIC countries.

In January 2010, he pointed out that a decision of the African Union Assembly transformed the NEPAD Secretariat into the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency in order to finalise its integration within the structures and processes of the African Union.

“In the interest of coherence and complementarily, the Assembly had also decided in 2009 to reduce the high number of Specialised Technical Committees,” he said.

As said by him, given the foregoing, all questions relating to ICT would be taken care of by the Committee on ICT Ministerial Conference (CITMC).

“Based on these decisions, it became clear that there was a need to merge the governance structure of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission (Ministerial and Executive Committee) into the Committee on ICT Ministerial Conference, and to transform the NEPAD e-Africa Commission into the NEPAD e-Africa Programme,” he said.

Further, he said, NEPAD e-Africa Programme subsequently become a department within the NEPAD Agency, charged with driving the ICT agenda.

He highlighted that due to the crosscutting nature of ICTs and the new strategic direction of the NEPAD Agency, he explained that the NEPAD e-Africa Programme is now housed within the office of the NEPAD Agency’s Chief Executive Officer.

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