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ICT to drive African development

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Africa needs to develop and deploy ICT technologies to improve governance, service delivery, build capacity and ensure citizen empowerment. This according to stakeholders present in Maputo, Mozambique at the 4th annual e-Governance Africa Forum organized by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO).

Leaders in ICT and government representatives gathered at the e-Governance Forum to find solutions to the various challenges facing African governments.

Dr Henry Chasia, Executive Chairperson of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission, said that acess and use of ICT is crucial for development.

“In NEPAD, we have placed great stock on the application of ICT to education”, he commented, speaking about the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative which aims to use ICT to support teaching and learning in all primary and secondary schools on the continent.

Dr. Ham Mukasa Mulira, Senior Presidential Advisor on ICT, Uganda and Chairman of the occasion, urged policy makers, regulators, solution providers and various stakeholders to share experiences and strategies on how ICT can bridge the digital gap between Africa and the rest of the world.

Furthermore, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, CEO of CTO, argued that e-Governance must be seen as an important match-making process between citizens and public ICT service providers.

He enumerated weak political leadership, low education levels, lack of coordination, poor infrastructure, resistance to change and other human impediments as some of the obstacles to successful e-government implementation.

The conference, which ends on the 25th of March 2010 with a workshop on “The Road to 4G” and a focus session on ICT Technologies, is attended by ministerial representatives from Mozabique, South Africa, Southern Sudan, Zambia, Kenya, Israel, Uganda, Malawi etc, as well as senior officials and major ICT companies in the region.

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