ECOWAS: 'ICT strategy needed for growth, development of W/Africa'

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has affirmed the need for a comprehensive regional Information and Communication Technology (ICT) strategy for the continuous growth and development of the West African region.

An ECOWAS Commission statement obtained by PANA here Thursday said the affirmation was made when a group of experts, delegates and other stakeholders met at a two-day regional workshop to review the ECOWAS ICT Strategy in Nigeria's capital, Abuja 27-28 July.

The review workshop, which had in attendance delegates from the member states, was declared open by the representative of the Nigeria’s Ministry of Communication Technology, Mrs. Moni Udoh, who is the ICT Director in the Ministry.  

In her remarks, she expressed Nigeria's delight for the all-important workshop to review the regions strategy on ICT, which she believed would go a long way in integrating the West African region and galvanizing the efforts of its member states.

In his own remarks, the Chairman of the workshop and representative of the Senegal’s Ministry of Telecommunication and ICT, Mr. Malick Ndiaye, who is also the Ministry’s Director of Cabinet, reiterated the commitment of his country and that of other West African member states towards having a unified Strategy on ICT that will spell out actions and objectives towards an improved and highly developed ICT sector in the region.

On his part, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Telecommunication and IT, Dr. Isaías Barreto da Rosa, described ICT as the engine for West Africa’s regional integration process.  

He said the rapidly changing landscape had shown that the use of ICT cannot be underestimated because it is fundamental for any region in the quest of improving innovation and productivity, in order to ensure continued development.

The Strategy Review meeting also featured presentations from ECOWAS partners including Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) where the Stakeholder Engagement and Operations Manager-Africa, Mr. Yaovi Atohoun, gave a presentation on ICANN Multi-stakeholder Model and the Africa Strategy as well as an Update on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Stewardship Transition and ICANN Accountability Processes.

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), led by the Deputy Director Policy Lead, Mr. Kojo Boakye, made a presentation on strategies to drive affordability of internet services in the West African region.

At the end of the two-day meeting, delegates reviewed the 2016-2020 ECOWAS ICT Strategy with technical and strategic input from the Telecommunication and IT Department of the ECOWAS Commission led by the Commissioner and supported by Dr. Rafael Koffi, the Head of  IT and Folake Olagunju Oyelola, Programme Officer ICT amongst other staff.

The delegates thereafter reaffirmed their commitment towards the full implementation of the Strategy when finally adopted by the relevant authorities.
-0- PANA SEG 30July2015

30 juillet 2015 11:06:32

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