South African President, Jacob Zuma, on Monday said that his government’s National Planning Commission Minister, Trevor Manuel, would assume a new role at the AU, championing the North-South Information Communication Technology infrastructure development corridor on the continent.
Already countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania have invested heavily in ICT as witnessed by the arrival of the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), while in West Africa Nigeria has invested in the same technology.
EASSy is an undersea fibre optic cable system connecting countries in eastern Africa to the rest of the world.
“We have the enormous task of promoting tangible action, and have to mobilise resources for the development of infrastructure on the continent,” said Zuma.
“The time has come to move beyond conceptualisation to concrete projects. Minister Manuel and I will work closely together to ensure that South Africa fulfils its continental responsibilities on infrastructure, which have to be championed from the presidency.
“We trust that we will be able to mobilise the private sector to work with us on this massive and very important project.”
He said the AU had designated some heads of state and government as champions of infrastructure projects in the following sectors: information and communication technologies, transport, energy, water and agriculture.
By SAVIOUS KWINIKA