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REPORT - DAY 2

SECOND DAY

On the second day, a host of projects seeking funding were presented at the Forum.  Projects that had been successfully implemented providing an opportunity for LDCs to replicate models were also presented. These were mainly in the areas of infrastructure, universal access, education, service and projects encouraging entrepreneurship development. The projects were not only national and regional in nature but also global. 

 

DONOR PERSPECTIVE

This first session was dedicated to donor agencies. All of them stressed their commitment to support and finance ICT for development activities.

The first speaker, Gertrude Mwangala, from the African Development Bank, explained the current ICT scenario in Africa regarding policy reform, regulatory reform, infrastructure, ICT applications, and the Bank’s contribution to these sectors. Seventy-three projects have been implemented in 32 countries in Africa, which makes a total of $1,364,705,081 of investment in the telecommunication sector.  To conclude, Mrs. Mwangala stressed the commitment of the Bank to continue to integrate and identified countries’ national plans on ICTs for financing.

Speaker Gerol Weigel, Head of Division of the ICT4D Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), made a presentation on how to get the development agencies more involved in national, regional and global projects. He suggested that to achieve this, there is an urge to demonstrate and communicate more clearly how ICTs relate to development, integrate ICTs better into various national strategies, policies and action and focusing on core areas of international development investments such as MDGs and poverty reduction.

Mr. Edward Malloy, IT Policy Advisor from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) explained how USAID operates in developing countries to promote economic growth, education, health, environmental protection, democracy & government, and humanitarian relief. Mr Malloy focused on the USAID strategy for development of ICTs, such as seeking partnerships, supporting policy and regulatory reform, foster ICT access, develops the capacity of institutions and individuals to achieve policy reform and demonstrates innovative ICT applications across all developmental objectives, including:  education, telemedicine, environment, and geo-spatial mapping.

 

Projects – Infrastructure backbone

Mr Henry Chasia of eAfrica Commission presented ICT infrastructure activities that have been implemented by NEPAD on the Africa continent. An East African Submarine Cable Systems has connected 19 countries so far between each other and to the rest of the world by way of optical fibre submarine cables or broadband backhaul links.

Kezang Kezang, Head of Telecom Sector in Bhutan, introduced the project: “ICTization of Schools in Bhutan”. This project, which will be implemented in less than a year, seeks to facilitate access to ICT in 20 schools and associated communities.

IP Planet Network is also introducing services of integrated Internet Solutions for Telecom and Internet Service Providers in 21 countries on the African Continent.

 

Projects – Universal Access

UNESCO presented “The Community Multimedia Centre programme” which have been implemented in Mali, Mozambique and Senegal. The goal will be to develop 50 CMCs in each country and 20 sites to be created in the first phase by UNESCO and Swiss funds. This initiative was launched during the WSIS in Geneva, December 2003.

The Malawi MCT country project raised the same point; that Community Centers are of key importance to acquire universal access in remote areas in Malawi. 

Sudan also talked about universal access initiatives through Community Multipurpose Tele-centres for rural areas to provide affordable ICT services to remote areas and bridge the gap between urban and rural areas. An IT fund was established in 2002 for this purpose coming from operators’ contributions and fees on traffic charges. This fund has also been used for e-education in rural area, e-health and capacity building and awareness of e-applications.

 

Projects - Education services

The E-Africa Commission made presentations on e-Schools, the Global Gateaway project by the British Council, and the E-Learning initiative by ITU-Inmarsat and I-LINX in partnership with the Academy for Educational Development (AED). The goal is to design and implement a sustainable network of locally managed and operated telecenters under the "ITU-Inmarsat E-Learning Initiative". The objective is to provide Internet connectivity to rural communities through Inmarsat's Regional BGAN IP satellite modem. The overall conclusion of this session was to provide digital opportunities to scholars by providing Internet connection and training capacity. The accessibility is not only important, but also the content provided for its better use.

 

Projects - Entrepreneurship

Two presentations encouraging SME entrepreneurship were made at the last session. One introduced a case study  “The MICTI Model” for building ICT skills and capacity in Mozambique. The other one was the YES Campaign which is bringing together diverse stakeholders through the YES Country Networks to work collaboratively on taking actions that results in productive and sustainable employment for youth.

 

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Updated : 2004-08-02