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25.10.2004 Business & Finance

Ghana to host WSIS preparatory meeting

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[Johannesburg, 25 October 2004] - From 2 to 4 February 2005, the city of Accra in Ghana will host the African region preparatory meeting in the run-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which will be held in Tunisia in November 2005.

The meeting will be known as the Information and Communications Technologies for Development event, and will be hosted by conference organiser AITEC.

According to AITEC, the theme of the event will be “Access: Africa's key to an Inclusive Information Society”, and will feature an exhibition where national governments, NGOs and businesses can display ICT products, technologies and solutions designed to strengthen African regional economic development and growth.

Ghana's minister of communications and technology, Albert Kan-Dapaah, says the conference is designed to provide a participatory space for the people of the continent to contribute a clear-cut input into the preparation for the WSIS in Tunis later in the year.

Sean Moroney, group chairman for AITEC, says that in order to encourage investment in the sector, governments may use the exhibition to demonstrate their regulatory frameworks and underline their commitment to provide a level playing field for all stakeholders in the ICT industry.

“Many countries, including Ghana, are already providing technology parks and incubators in partnership with the private sector, to encourage new ICT technologies and innovations,” he says.

“However, the true benefits of ICT can only be achieved if the people of Africa can have widespread access to the ICT infrastructure at local, national and regional level, so we also expect exhibitors to showcase products and solutions designed to serve the needs of end-users in a practical way.”

Moroney also says the African voice over IP (VOIP) Summit, planned for the end of this year, has undergone a date change.

“It will no longer be held on 14 and 15 December, but will instead follow the African GPRS Forum, taking place on 7 December, and will thus be held on 8 and 9 December at the Nairobi Hilton in Kenya.”

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