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26.02.2009 Technology

India inaugurates Pan-African e-Network project


The Indian government on Thursday inaugurated its Pan –African E-network project for 11 African countries aimed at promoting effective communication and connectivity in the continent through satellite and fibre network.

The 125 million-dollar support project would also facilitate the sharing of Indian's expertise in the fields of education and healthcare with members states of the African Union (AU).

The project was proposed by Indian's ex-president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam during the Pan African Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September 2004.

At a video conference in Accra which saw the inauguration of the projects via electronic interaction with Ministers of State of the beneficiary countries, Mr Pramab Mukherjee, Indian's External Affairs Minister, noted that the project was part of India's commitment to socio-economic development in Africa.

He indicated that the project would help bridge the digital divide between his country and the continent and further support e-governance, e-commerce and other information technology tools in beneficiary countries.

Mr Mukhejee said the Indian government hoped to connect the project to all 53 AU member states and expressed the hope that this would further help to promote South-South cooperation

Touching on Ghana's ties with India, Mr. Mukhejee said the two countries continued to enjoy good bilateral relations and expressed the hope that this would continue under President John Evans Atta Mills' government.

He mentioned the construction of the Golden Jubilee House and the Kofi Annan ICT Centre as some projects that demonstrated the ties between the two countries.

The Minister further congratulated Ghanaians for demonstrating political maturity during the December 2008 elections.

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, hinted that under the project, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology had been selected as one of the five super specialty regional centres and hubs for tele-education programmes in the sub-region.

He said the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital had also been selected as a patient–end centre for tele-medicine and information sharing to improve quality healthcare, while the University of Ghana would be a learning centre for undergraduate and postgraduate programme in ICT.

The Minister said the project had already installed a VVIP Node at the Golden Jubilee House that would provide voice and video conferencing services for the President with other Heads of State.

Mr Iddrisu thanked the Indian government for the support and pledged the government's commitment to continue to cooperate with India, especially in the areas of ICT education and Business Processing Outsourcing.

The beneficiaries are Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal, Mauritius, Seychelles, Benin, The Gambia, Gabon and Burkina Faso.