posted on November 23, 2011 11:56
The World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) of Tunis in November 2005 adopted a final document (Tunis Commitment) which presented frameworks for building an Information Society. The Tunis Summit invited all the governments to adopt the ICT for sustainable development while strengthening the national, regional and international co-operation. Following the 2005 Tunis Commitment, African Union launched for the first time the African ICT Week (AICTW).
The African ICT week (AICTW) for 2011 took place in Ethiopia from November 14 to November 20, 2011. It was organized by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) in collaboration with the African Union. The central theme of this event was “ICT, tools for Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development”.
Many are the obstacles that prevent the African continent to develop and bridge the gap with other developed countries. Indeed, the defect of access to the infrastructures of telecommunications, affordability and electricity (in particular in rural areas) are the major problems. The costs are still very high, and the existence of social barriers (difficulties based on gender, languages etc.) and the insufficiency of clear and engaged policies in favor of the ICT encouraged the realization of the African ICT Week.
The objectives of the AICTW are the following:
a. To bridge the digital divide.
b. To promote the right of all to have equal access to ICT value added services and to benefit from the advantages of using technological services.
c. To develop, maintain and stimulate people's curiosity and interest in Technology
d.To promote the acquisition of appropriate technological concepts, skills, principles, methods and vocabulary.
e. To boost security and trust in the sectors relying on the using of information networks;
f. To encourage people to develop informed opinions about their technological services and to be able to support them by reasonable arguments.
g. To leverage ICTs as a tool for creating an informed-Africa society.
h. To promote greater awareness of ICTs among African governments, communities and stakeholders.
i. To use technologies in a variety of subject areas and contexts.
j. To attract newer and additional investments to the African ICTs market.
By organizing this event, the African Union aims at improving living conditions in Africa by integrating it to the knowledge society as to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals. Awareness is thus increased on the several possibilities that ICTs can offer to the African continent for better integration. The African Union invited governments, civil societies as well as parties from the private sector in the goal of working together to improve the access to the infrastructure and the ICT and creating an information knowledge society and economy. The week emphasized on the use of electronic means as a commitment to the digital revolution in many African countries. The event also focused on the numerous advantages of ICTs and the ways in which they can improve daily quality of life.