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Expanding Africa’s Broadband Capacity is Topic of Summit

October 11, 2007 • Mobile and Telecoms

The International Telecommunication Union today announced that the Connect Africa Summit, October 29-30 in Kigali, Rwanda will have as its goal to help bring connectivity to Africa and promote “Connect Africa,” a new partnership that seeks to expand the information and communication technology infrastructure of the continent, especially Internet broadband.

Some 500 participants are expected to attend the Connect Africa Summit, including the patrons of the initiative, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Ghana’s President John Kufuor, who is also the African Union Chairman. High-level participants include International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure; President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka; and Intel Corporation Chairman Craig Barrett, who is also the Chair of the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development. Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group, will make a contribution by video link. The presidents of several African nations are also expected to participate.

The event will bring together political leaders, including ministers and heads of state, CEOs and senior executives of global and African IT companies, leaders from civil society and heads of international and regional development banks. Industry leaders including Cisco, GSM Association, Ericsson, Huawei, British Telecom, Qualcomm, NTT DoCoMo, Neustar, Safaricom, Nokia-Siemens and Microsoft will attend and announce new initiatives to help bring connectivity to Africa.

The Summit sessions are designed for television to encourage interactive participation and key sessions will be moderated by Stephen Cole, a renowned TV anchor with Al Jazeera International.

The event is organized by the International Telecommunication Union, the African Union, the World Bank Group and the Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in partnership with the African Development Bank, the African Telecommunication Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the Global Digital Solidarity Fund.

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