Ben Ali urges massive African presence at WSIS

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Monday called for top-level African participation at the World Summit for Information Society (WSIS), to be hosted by his country 16-18 November.
"We hope that African leaders will send impressive delegations at the highest levels - government, civil society and private sector - to the summit in Tunis, to show our commitment to act together for the establishment of a cohesive and interdependent digital partnership among all countries of the world," he said at the opening of the two-day 5th African Union (AU) Summit in the central Libyan town of Sirte.
The Tunisian leader said WSIS was part of efforts at narrowing "the great gap in access to knowledge and the control of information communication technologies.
" This "would help African countries take advantage of those technologies and efficiently use them in their development plans," he stressed.
Ben Ali promised that his country would make the summit a landmark event towards the establishment of balanced co-operation between the rich and poor countries in the field of information and communication technologies.
He commended efforts made in the preparation for the meeting, and the achievements of the preliminary meetings held in Tunis, Geneva, Switzerland, Bamako, Mali and Accra, Ghana.
Ben Ali also urged Africans to actively participate in the preparatory meeting slated for September in the Swiss capital.
He hailed the initiative by the G-8 most industrialised nations to write off the debts of some African countries and expressed the hope that the gesture would be extended to other countries, to facilitate their integration into the world economy.

04 july 2005 20:36:00

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