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17.10.2007 Africa

Expanding Africa's broadband capacity-Kufuor & Kagame initiative to be outdoored

By daily Express

Over 500 participants including President Kufuor are expected to attend the Connect Africa Summit under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Kigali Rwanda later this month.

The main goal of the 29-30 October 2007 summit is 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.

An ITU bulletin named Rwandan President Paul Kagame and President John Kufuor, African Union (AU) Chairman as patrons of the initiative.

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.

High-level participants include ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré; Chairman of the AV Commission Alpha Oumar Konare; 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, while other African presidents are expected to participate.

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's press conferences will be webcast live, and time slots for telephone interviews with prominent participants will be allocated for those journalists who cannot attend.
The event is organized by the ITU, 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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