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List of 11 African Union "ARAPKE" Flagship Projects

Project Title
Requesting Institution
Country of location
Theme covered
Geographical scope
Amount requested
1. NEPAD Broadband Initiative
e-Africa Commission
South Africa
ICT Infrastructure
2. NEPAD SchoolNet Initiative
e-Africa Commission
South Africa
ICT Infrastructure and Education
3. African Digital Initiatives and Financing Agency (ADIFA)
African Digital Funding Agency
4. African Internet Exchange System-(AXIS)
Exchange points
5. E-Learning mode of Distance Education in Addis Ababa University
University of Addis Ababa
6. DIDActiciel et Dictionnaire multilingue et multimédia (DIDADI )
University of Bamako
7. Harnessing Information to empower youth leadership and employment
African Youth Network
Burkina Faso
Youth empowerment
8. Classes préparatoires virtuelles pour les lycéens
University of Yaounde I
Central Africa
€ 300,00 *
$ 393,000
9. Women's mediated access and capacity building centres in rural Africa
Center for Policy and Development
Women empowerment
€ 2,030,024 *
$ 2,659,332
10. E-learning Network
Bokk Jang Bokk Jeff  2B1-SN
Education and languages
West Africa
€ 418,910
$ 549,609
11. African Leadership in ICT Professional Development Program
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
$ 4,978,150
Budget submitted in Euro. For purpose of calculating in dollars, we used 1 Euro = 1.31 dollars
1. NEPAD Broadband Initiative

The project was commended as a priority for Africa. It was agreed that this was a fairly straightforward project as it was dealing with a continent without adequate connectivity. Also the high cost of connectivity in Africa was raised as an element pleading for this project, which would reduce cost of transactions and therefore make Africa competitive. It would also provide a platform on which Africa could develop applications, make content available to the rest of the world.

However the members noted that the project was submitted to many donors and were wondering if it was worth adding it into the ARAPKE basket. Members also noted that the way it was presented, the project appeared as a series of different components which each could start as a project at its own. Finally, it was agreed to request the project proponent to repackage it in a format which could be attractive to development partners by submitting to ARAPKE the part dealing with the preparation, institutional capacity building and studies. The other part that deals with implementation should be repackaged and submitted to African and international private sector for financing according to the market rules and regulations.

2. NEPAD e-School Initiative

The project was considered as a priority for the continent as it deals with education and access to knowledge through ICT. However ARAPKE members noticed that the project did not supply adequate information on content, curriculum, implementation framework, detailed budget, etc. Hence the meeting requested a full project proposal from the proponent before it could be included in the list of ARAPKE projects to be submitted to the Resource Mobilization Conference. Members also felt that there was no need to link the project to APRM as some countries had their own governance review mechanisms and could benefit from the project.

3. African Digital Initiatives and Financing Agency (ADIFA)

The project raised several questions and comments from group members on its objectives, coverage, and operations as well as possible duplication of existing institutions and mechanisms. Following lengthy discussions and after further review of the proposal, it was discovered that all required information was included in the project and that the proposal was the only one of its kind emerging in Africa dealing with Information Society issues; other similar initiatives were mostly multidimensional covering all areas of socio-economic development.

4. African Internet Exchange System (AXIS)

Members agreed that the project was useful and of great importance to the continent. However they raised the issue of bringing African regulators on board this initiative. It was agreed that the project would never succeed without support from regulatory authorities especially at the national and sub-regional levels. Hence participants recommend that everything possible be done to secure support from the regulators before seeking funding, or else the funding required should be used for building consensus among regulators to enable them endorse the peering concept and develop a plan for an Internet Exchange System. In addition the regional dimension needs to be highlighted in the project with inclusion and participation of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the sub-regional regulatory associations.

It was further agreed that there were several other entities dealing with Internet service provision which are organized in pressure groups and which should be brought on board to avoid duplication of activities in the continent.

Also as this is an infrastructure project it was suggested to make sure that the private sector takes care of the peering and regional carriers according to the rules and regulations governing the telecommunication market.

Finally members agreed that the project should deal with consensus building on peering and development of exchange points in cooperation with all the associations of regulators, associations of ISPs and IXPs in the continent and the RECs. They also requested the project proponent to document in their proposal lessons learnt from the CATIA project as well as experiences from other ISP and IXP associations. The members concluded by requesting that the project be rewritten in order to take into account all above comments .

5. ICT Based distance Education Capacity Building

The project was found to be useful. However participants noted that it was too national centric and should include a dimension beyond Ethiopian frontiers taking into account activities being or to be carried out on e-education in the East African sub-region and beyond. The Working Group requested a revised proposal taking into account above comments. This was provided by the project proponent, who reviewed the proposal, which now includes Universities in Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and Rwanda..

6. DIDActiciel et Dictionnaire multilingue et multimédia (DIDADI)

The project raised several questions and comments from group members on participation of other relevant stakeholders, its coverage, nature of the work and activities to be financed. Following replies from the evaluator and further review of the proposal, members scrutinized the proposal again and agreed that the project had all information required for its submission to partners.

7. Harnessing Information to empower youth leadership and employment

Members commented in length the proposal and recommended that the project be fully reviewed to align the activities with the budget. It was also recommended to make the project activities more focus to grassroots and operational activities, instead of allocating too many resources on meetings and consultations.

8. Classes préparatoires virtuelles pour les lycéens

Members requested to add 0.5 in marking the regional dimension criteria as the project went beyond one country but did not cover an entire sub-region. Participants wondered if the proposal was on ICT applications or on e-learning or both. Hence they requested the project proponent to supply additional information on the applications to be used, training to be offered and the curriculum to be developed.

9. Women's mediated access and capacity building centres in rural Africa

The project was found relevant to the African context, well documented and comprehensive.

10. E-learning Network

Group members found the project useful and requested that it be expanded at its operational phase to include countries members of the Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Superieur (CAMES) – African and Malagasy Council for Education. It was also recommended that the project be extended to the entire continent during its full operationalization phase. However in the meantime it should operate as presented and used as an incubator in the already selected countries.

11. African Leadership in ICT Professional Development Program

The project was found to be useful, relevant to the African context, fulfilling the regional dimension (as delivered in the five sub-regions of Africa), well documented and comprehensive.

Discussion on format for presenting selected projects
A Technical Committee chaired by Kenya, with Burundi as Rapporteur discussed the format for presenting the selected projects to the African Ministerial Bureau and the Steering Committee for reporting purposes. Because the 11 proposals would be too bulky for review by members of the Ministerial Bureau, the Technical Committee proposed that the pre-selected projects be summarized by ARAPKE Working Group members before submission to the Chair of the Working Group.

The Technical Committee members agreed to prepare an abstract of not more than 1 page for each project with the following elements:

  • Title of the project
  • Brief description
  • Main objectives
  • Outputs
  • Budget

They recommended that all projects, including summaries be posted in the ECA website. The abstracts are in annex 8. They also recommended that a profile of each proponent institution be collected and be submitted together with the project abstracts.

Brief overview of the project proposals

A brief analysis of the 10 pre-selected projects shows the following:

  • The geographic distribution of the projects proposals is as follows:
    • The entire continent: 9
    • One sub-region: 2
  • The proposals cover the following themes:
    • Infrastructure: 2
    • Education: 5
    • Financing: 1
    • Youth: 1
    • Women groups: 1
    • Languages: 1
  • The countries of location of the project proponents are:
    • Burkina Faso: 1
    • Cameroon: 1
    • Egypt: 1
    • Ethiopia: 1
    • Ghana: 1
    • Kenya: 1
    • Mali: 1
    • Nigeria: 1
    • South Africa: 2
    • Senegal: 1
  • The total cost of the requested funds is: $121,952,598
  • The 2 NEPAD project proposals have the highest funding cost: $105,000,000.


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Updated : 2009-01-16