Dot Africa ( .africa) Project; Much Awaited African Dream
Khartoum - The activities of the African Information Technology and Telecommunications Ministers carried on for the second day in a row on the experts' level in closed sessions that discussed a number of papers including on the internet and the African electronic network. The participants in these sessions also discussed the feasibility of establishing an African space agency and a mechanism for coordinating the programs of the information technology and telecommunications sectors. A proposal was also circulated during these sessions to establish a periodic African Union forum on information technology and telecommunications.
Head of the Information Technology and media Infrastructure Development Directorate in Algeria Hakeem Echeri announced his country's support for the African project (africa.com); a project that reinforces the African will and promotes the public image of Africa in the world wide web.
Hakeem explained that despite the many challenges facing this project; the collective determination of African countries will enable them to overcome these challenges in favor of reinforcing the African internet domain. He called on African countries to carry out studies in the fields of telecommunications and information technology to enable the continent of realizing a radical transformation in the way it projects itself and the way it is perceived and portrayed on the internet; eventually enabling the continent to have a better sophisticated handle on its conduct in the digital community.
His Excellency commended the level of hospitality the visiting delegations were met with during the Fourth African Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Conference in Khartoum.
The Algerian official said today's session discussed a paper on the internet security project; explaining that his country formed a national committee to tackle the Good Governance Program o0n the internet. He called on African countries to cooperate for the sake of building the African information community.
Mukhtar Yadali: The .com.africa project was approved by 60% of member countries
Mukhtar Yadali presented a briefing on the project to the participants in the conference.
He said it has been long since the work on the project started; a project for whose sake teams of experts were assembled.
He said it is important to complete the project and added: "A certain system must be abided by in order to accept applications." He revealed that 60% of member countries have approved of the project.
He confirmed the project will transform the way internet looks like in Africa and will unify its appearance. It will also offer companies and institutions wider coverage opportunities for marketing; not to mention the alternatives (cables and satellites) it offers for governments to enhance economies through employing the aforementioned alternatives in revitalizing African markets.
He disclosed that the African Commission is handling this project on behalf of member countries; confirming that this project will help improve industry in Africa, combat cyber crime, develop local telecommunications components, and decrease telecommunications tariffs.
$130 Thousand is the cost of optic fiber project in Africa
During the Information Technology Project display session; the participants stressed the importance of convening meetings between the ministers of telecommunications and the private sector entrepreneurs to discuss the possibilities financing the program of linking African countries together in the computer field.
The Information Technology program was also presented before one of the sessions, and it was agreed that fiber optic cables must be laid to connect all parts of the continent with each other and to accelerate the implementation of African development projects.
It is worth mentioning that the total cost of the project is $130 thousand. He indicated that the project is faced with challenges regarding the supporting the different parties to enable them to perform their roles. He added that countries must plan to implement this giant project which must fully implemented by 2020. He stressed the importance of concentrating on developing different broadband services and carry out studies on the national level to ease the transformation of Africa into a digital community.
The participants were unanimous in asserting the importance of working out a system for financing the project and mobilize financial funds for it. They confirmed that heads of state and private sector entrepreneurs and businessmen and women must support the project; saying that the challenge is to have enough determination to implement this project.
Eisa Bushra: The conference inaugurates a new era in the cooperation and integration path of the continent's countries
Dr. Eisa Bushra expressed his hope that the Fourth Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister s Conference will constitute the new beginning of an era of cooperation and integration among the continent's countries; the kind that enables them to cope with international speeding development in the field of information technology.
During his welcoming address to the conference participants; His Excellency confirmed that realizing this goal necessitates that African peoples and governments work together to form and reinforce big alliances in light of the nature of the world today; a world that does recognize neither the individual nor the weak entities. These alliances will prove effective and useful in overcoming all challenges in all fields and levels.
The Telecommunications Minister stressed the importance of formulating an agreement on a total perspective to specify the comprehensive reform means needed to start the reform process and to provide peace and stability means for a better social life. His Excellency said it was crucial to admit that realizing reform, development, peace, security, and stability I the continent requires cooperation and interdependence to accomplish mutual interests.
He commended the role played by the African Union and its different branches to accomplish these goals as well as its relentless efforts to security and stability in Sudan.
Jean Sakou: Sudan has accomplished remarkable development in the field of telecommunications
State Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Central African Republic and head of the Central African Delegation to the conference Jean Sakou said Sudan has accomplished a remarkable and enormous shift in the field of telecommunications and information technology and added: "Sudan is the most developed country among the continent's countries in this field." He pointed out that a meeting will be held between the experts of both countries followed by a meeting of telecommunications ministers of both countries.
In the wake of meeting with the Sudanese Minister of Science and Telecommunications; Sakou explained that this conference is very important for Africa and added: "African countries can benefit from Sudan's experience in this field."
He said Sudan and Central African Republic can benefit from the support offered by the World Bank and the African Development Bank to support the telecommunications sector in both countries.
Concerning the paper presented yesterday on telecommunications and information technology in Africa; His Excellency clarified that it focused on enlightenment, exchange of experience, and reinforcing cooperation among the countries of the continent in the field of telecommunications and the other economic fields.
By Omer Mohammed El-Haj, 03/09/2012