International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (May 2013 until April 2014)

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1 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (May 2013 until April 2014) ITU s support to the New Partnership for Africa s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency Overview The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) continues to provide assistance to the NEPAD in its various activities to meet the NEPAD objectives in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector as part of the global World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) objectives and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). ITU s support to NEPAD is being mainstreamed through Resolution 35 (Istanbul, 2002) from the WTDC-02 and Resolution 124 (Marrakech, 2002) from the PP-02 adopted by its governing body and in its Strategic Development Plan to achieve the goals of the NEPAD. Moreover, the Declaration of Principles and the Action Plan from the World Summit on the Information Society Geneva 2003 emphasized the need for regional dialogue, cooperation and partnership among national, regional and international stakeholders in order to realize the objectives, goals and targets for building an all-inclusive Information Society. (i) Collaboration with other UN agencies in support to NEPAD Public-Private partnership is one of the core elements of ITU since its inception; along this line the organization collaborates closely with various UN agencies to support the NEPAD. ITU participates in the Regional Consultation Mechanism (RCM) aiming at coordinating all UN agencies actions in each global region for a better delivery. The RCM in Ethiopia is working closely with the Africa Union (AU) to support the NEPAD; and ITU plays a key role in its ICT cluster. ITU is continuing to carry up its work with NEPAD, African Union Commission (AUC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Development Bank (AfDB), World Bank and other partners in the following up the Connect Africa Summit Initiative which provides the forum and platform for coordination of various projects and activities leading to NEPAD objectives in the development of ICT infrastructure in Africa. 1. Through Harmonization of the ICT Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa (HIPSSA Project), ITU has led the harmonization of Regional and sub-regional ICT policies and regulatory framework, by creating in the continent the necessary environment for the public and private investment in the ICT infrastructure. In West Africa with the ITU Support countries continued to transpose the ECOWAS model laws that were developed with the ITU Support in their national legal instruments. In other sub-regions model laws and policies are being updated to the current technology converged environment. These activities were accompanied by the capacity building and training of stakeholders. This had direct impact in NEPAD Public-Private Partnership promotion and advocacy.

2 2. ITU is supporting the NEPAD in the NEPAD e-schools initiative: the NEPAD eschools project aims to connect all African high schools to the internet and all African primary schools by the end the year The objective of the NEPAD- e-school initiative is to provide ICT skills and knowledge to African primary and secondary school students that will enable them to function in the emerging information society and knowledge economy. In addition, teachers with ICT skills will enable them to use ICT to enhance teaching and learning in Africa; and African school managers with ICT skills so as to facilitate the efficient management and administration of the schools. 3. Under the Connect a School, Connect a Community initiative of the ITU, projects were implemented at selected sites in Niger, Gambia and Tanzania, Lesotho and Sierra Leone Governments that allowed connectivity in schools in remote, rural and underserved area in these countries to broadband internet services and to be also used as community ICT centres (CICs). The projects improved ICT access and can be used by school children and members of the local community, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as women and girls, indigenous and rural people, older persons and persons with disabilities. The projects provide individual or shared computing devices to school children, and establish in the connected schools community ICT centres that can be used both for the socioeconomic development of community members and to provide fee-paying services to foster sustainability for the community ICT centres. The projects also provided relevant training for teachers, managers of the ICT centres and the trainers who provided socio-economic relevant training for community members to enable use of ICTs in their day-to- day social and economic activities. These projects are in concordance with ITU and NEPAD objectives. In total 71 sites are equipped in ICT material and implemented to deliver ICT courses for children at least 213 teachers are trained, training curriculums are available or in preparation for some centres. The projects are sponsored by French and Swiss Governments. 4. ITU also implemented a network of Centres of Excellence (CoE) in Africa (Centre de Maintenance des Telecommunications de Lomé - CMTL Lomé, Togo; Makerere University, Uganda; ESMT Dakar, Senegal; Kigali Institute of Science and Technology - KIST, Rwanda; African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute AFRALTI, Kenya, and Telkom, South Africa) to promote the use of ICT in education for distance learning and for face to face trainings. In 2012 Centre of Excellence for Africa nodes Network delivered 13 workshops in high quality of training delivered in face to face and distance training by Learning Management System (LMS). In total 397 staff members coming from 45 State members and Organizations from Africa participated to these formations. All trainings material is developed and available in ITU Academy website. 5. In 2010, ITU and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established the Broadband Commission in response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon s call to step up UN efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with five targets. 1.Making broadband policy universal: By 2015, all countries should have a national broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in their Universal Access / Service Definitions; 2.Making broadband affordable: By 2015, entry-level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries through adequate regulation and market forces (for example, 2

3 amounting to less than 5% of average monthly income); 3.Connecting homes to broadband: By 2015, 40% of households in developing countries should have Internet access 4.Bringing more people online: By 2015, Internet user penetration should reach 60% worldwide, 50% in developing countries and 15% in Least Developed Countries (LDCs); and 5. Gender equality in broadband access by the year 2020 to spur female access to the power of ICTs. The Broadband commissioners and interested representatives of governments, private sector and civil society met in 2011 (Rwanda) to discuss challenges, priorities and strategies that can help wire the African continent to high-speed networks in September Broadband prices are falling, but much of Africa remains unconnected, figures released by ITU earlier in 2011 show that despite encouraging trends, Africa continues to stand out for its relatively high prices. Fixed broadband Internet access, in particular, remains prohibitively expensive. (ii) Financial Support for NEPAD Programmes and Projects from Year Total Projects signed Action Plan 1, 404, ,217 3, 424,974 2, 275, ,373 8, 808,142 1, 321,685 1, 027, ,155 1, 048,166 1, 026,000 5, 237,679 Total 2, 726,214 1, 796,890 4, 239,129 3, 323,215 1, 960,373 14, 045,821 (iii) Institutional support to the NEPAD ITU, the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the NEPAD: The PIDA is dealing with four pillars: Transport, Energy, and ICT and Water resources. ITU is a key partner for the PIDA in its ICT component and has participated in most of its meetings. In addition, the Connect Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2007 has driven the development of broad infrastructure (land optical fibre, submarine cables) and ICT applications in Africa; which is benefiting the other initiatives on the continent, such as the PIDA for its ICT component and the NEPAD for its thematic areas. ITU and the NEPAD other collaboration areas cover the followings: The NEPAD was represented during Connect Africa with two initiatives regarding broadband development: UHURUNET Submarine Cable and UMOJANET Terrestrial Network, which are two planned segments of the NEPAD ICT Broadband Infrastructure Network; Enabling environment and regulatory framework: Africa Union is a partner of ITU s HIPSSA. The HIPSSA project is covering four sub regions in Africa (West, East, Central and South); which benefits to the NEPAD and Africa Union since have similar programmes (cf. AU and NEPAD s enabling policy and regulatory framework). By working together with the ITU on the HIPSSA, the NEPAD and Africa Union avoid efforts duplication on the ground, as the beneficiary countries are the same. An Assessment study on the Connect Africa Summit Goals 3

4 was commissioned by ITU in partnership with African Development Bank and the report validated. The findings and recommendations of the have direct relationship with NEPAD objectives on ICT infrastructure. ITU, AUC and AOSTI The African Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) was established by the Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.232 (XII) of February In July 2010, a host country agreement was signed between the AUC and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. At the AU Summit held in Malabo in June 2011, the Chairperson of the AUC laid the foundation stone of the AOSTI in presence of the ITU s Secretary-General. AOSTI is rooted in the Africa Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action which aims at supporting the commitment of African leadership to use Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to improve the well-being of the African community. More specifically, the AOSTI is mandated to collect, process, analyse and disseminate statistical information on STI (including ICT) in Africa to support evidencebased policy-making in the member states of the AU, and to collect and review STI policies. ITU is working in collaboration with the AU for the AOSTI implementation; in this regard, ITU has engaged a consultant to work on a feasibility study for the AOSTI s data collection platform and network design; which has been received and validated. ITU will still technically accompany AU in the implementation of the AOSTI platform as deemed appropriate. In one word, as ICT are crosscutting to all sectors, ITU s activities in Africa are aimed at promoting digital economy, which all other sectors of activities are benefiting from. ITU-ATU collaboration in Migration from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting ITU has been supporting and continues to support African Telecommunication Union (ATU), an AU agency, in the delivery and dissemination of required information for the countries to migrate from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting through organized Regional workshops and Frequency management training. The support is aimed at countries acquiring knowledge to implement migration before the switch over in Advocacy Work in Support of Africa s Development The International Telecommunication Union has been very active in advocacy works through developing human capital by providing skills training, seminars, workshops, and conferences; assisting the Centres of Excellence based in Nairobi & Dakar; and supporting many projects directly at both national and regional levels. The ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of ITU plays a crucial role in advocacy work for Africa s development by leveraging ICTs access and facilitating the mobilization of technical, human and financial resources needed for their implementation and work towards narrowing the digital divide between the information to haves and haves not. One of the goals of ITU s development Bureau is promoting the right of everyone to communicate through access to infrastructure and information and communication services. The Broadband Commission also plays a unique role for high-level advocacy, as a bridge between public and private forums for thought leadership in the latest thinking on how best to deploy broadband to meet the specific needs of developing countries. ITU strongly believes that ICT is a catalyst for all three pillars of sustainable development, social, economic and environmental sustainability. The organization is committed to its mission of harnessing the 4

5 unique potential of ICTs to promote growth and sustained development of ICT networks in Africa and elsewhere and facilitating universal access to benefit all mankind from the emerging information society and global economy. 5

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