Thursday, February 14, 2008

Africa - ICT forum

ICTs Promotion forum opens at ECA

ICTs Promotion forum opens at ECAAn Information and Communications Technology (ICT) forum opened at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa today with a call for increased investments in the ICT sector. The forum, known as NOVATECH 2008, is the first stage of a dynamic process for the promotion and support to the ICT sector in East Africa and Indian Ocean countries.

In his opening remarks Ethiopia’s Minister of Capacity Building, Honourable Tefera Waluwa stated that Ethiopia is committed to the development of ICTs to promote its poverty alleviation and economic development programmes. The minister said ICTs would help “in consolidating the gains of the on going state transformation with a special emphasis on improving service delivery and creating a sense of accountability and transparency, which are the bedrocks for the flourishing of democratic institutions and the establishment of good governance.” He added that the conference is an important forum for cooperation and knowledge transfer between Europe and Africa.

Presenting the statement of the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Mr Abdoulie Janneh; Ms Aida Opoku-Mensah, the director of ECA’s Science and Technology division, stated that ICTs was one of the fastest growing sectors in Africa and are therefore ripe for infusion of investments. “In today’s global information-driven society, economic success is increasingly based on the effective utilisation of intangible assets such as knowledge, skills and innovative potential are key resources for competitive advantage,” the statement adds.

NOVATECH 2008 is organised by Pro€Invest (, a common programme of the European Commission (EC) and the group of African, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) countries, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

NOVATECH offers a platform for intense information and interaction between participants from Europe and the ACP. During NOVATECH, companies and regional institutions have the opportunity to initiate talks on potential partnerships. A series of workshops are organised for the participants on sector related topics and trends such as “ICT skills and training, network infrastructures technologies and expanding opportunities for e-applications.

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