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Access - Africa's Key to an Inclusive Information Society:
WSIS Regional Conference in Africa,
2-4 February 2005, Accra, Ghana


Geneva, 24 January 2005

The theme of the African Regional Preparatory Conference for WSIS, "Access — Africa’s key to an inclusive Information Society" will prepare for Africa’s effective participation in the Tunis phase of WSIS to ensure a strategic and interdependent digital partnership that will promote economic growth and human development on the continent.

Based on an assessment of the progress made by African countries to reduce the digital divide in light of the outcomes of the Geneva phase of WSIS, the conference aims to develop a common position and a regional action plan on major ICT issues of relevance to the continent, including the remaining two unresolved issues of the Geneva phase, namely Internet Governance and Financing of the Information Society.

Discussions are expected to focus on the following topics:

  • Information Society and Regulation: Access and infrastructure
  • National and Regional e-strategies
  • Open-Source Software and local languages/content
  • Cyberlaw and Intellectual Property Rights
  • Capacity building for policy-makers
  • ICT applications in education, health, trade and governance
  • ICT and Poverty Reduction
  • Monitoring the Information Society
  • Local governance
  • Private Sector Forum

The Conference is also expected to assess options for financing mechanisms to consolidate the African Information Society and to promote multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSP) in building an inclusive Information Society.


Second Africa Preparatory Conference for WSIS. Coordinated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) under the framework of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI), the conference is convened as part of the Infrastructure cluster of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It will be organized under the auspices of President John Kufuor of Ghana.


2-4 February 2005


Accra International Conference Centre (AICC). Accra, Ghana.


To build consensus on Africa 's position on the issues to be presented to the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, which seeks to bridge the digital divide in order to reduce poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.


Multi-stakeholder participation: Governments, International organizations, development partners, business and civil society, parliamentarians, local authorities, academia and African regional institutions.


For further information:

Mr. Makane Faye
Senior Regional Advisor
Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
Tel: + 251 1 514534
Fax: + 251 1 510512

For further information about the World Summit on the Information Society contact:

Mr Sanjay Acharya
Communications Officer
WSIS Executive Secretariat
Tel :+41 22 730 5046
Email :



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Updated : 2005-01-24