The 5th Meeting of the Heads of ICT Units in AUC, NEPAD Agency, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Associations of Regulators on Harmonisation and Coordination of Regional and Continental ICT Programmes, Projects, and Activities has ended in Balaclava, Mauritius with the adoption of the comprehensive Continental ICT Strategy for Africa (CISA). The new strategy that will guide the development of the ICT sector on the continent until 2024, is anchored on 7 Strategic themes: Post and Telecom Infrastructure, Capacity Development, e-Applications and Services, enabling environment and governance, mobilisation of resources and partnerships, industrialisation, as well as research and development.The meeting was attended by representatives from the African Union Commission (AUC) , NEPAD Agency (NPCA), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), East African Community (EAC), Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), East Africa Communications Organizations (EACO) and the Communications Regulatory Association of Southern Africa (CRASA).
The ICT coordination meetings started in 2011 as a response the AU organs’ decisions requesting AUC to effectively coordinate with RECs as the building blocks and with all African stakeholders. “I would like to invite all other sectors to emulate this approach” said the Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission.
The status of the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), ICT projects, dotAfrica, the AU Convention on Cyber security and ICT programs in respective RECs and the modus operandi of the meeting were among the items discussed.
As a direct response to the AU Executive Council Decision that requested the Commission to develop an updated, integrated and coherent ICT framework for Africa in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency, RECs, specialized institutions, African Development Bank (AfDB) and UNECA taking into account existing frameworks of all ICT stakeholders in Africa, the meeting adopted the strategic document the ”Comprehensive ICT strategy for Africa (CISA)”. “This is a major achievement toward the harmonization of policies and regulations in Africa” noted Dr. Elham Ibrahim Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.
The coordination meetings are held every six months and are hosted in different RECs on a rotational basis.
“The implementation of PIDA and its Institutional Architecture IADA require these kinds of meetings whose outcomes will undoubtedly benefit the implementation” said Mr Aboubakari-Baba Moussa Director for Infrastructure and Energy.