African Union to Review ICT Development

The African Union Summit in Ethiopia will assess the impact of information communication technology on the continent as well as other socio-economic and security developments. The theme of the Summit is “Information Communication Technologies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development”.

ICT has been identified as a catalyst for growth in the current global market but unchecked development may also pose serious challenges to developing countries as more advanced nations impose or control the flow of information. African leaders are expected to deliberate on how the continent can harness opportunities presented by ICT while at the same time addressing its challenges.

Development in ICT have the potential to promote investment in various sectors of the economy such as agriculture, tourism, education and health, resulting in the creation of jobs, increase in agriculture production as well as improvement in connectivity with the rest of the world.

The Summit, to be held at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa from 31 January to 2 February, is also expected to discuss a proposal put forward by Nigeria to establish an African Union Rapid Response Force (AURRF) that would detect and address potential conflicts on the continent. Supporters of the AURRF believe that the establishment of such a force should enable Africa to resolve its security challenges without unnecessary outside interference. Another major issue for discussion is the socio-economic situation on the continent.

The AU has invited World Bank President Robert Zoellick to make a presentation on how Africa may improve its economy and attract investment. Zoellick is expected to propose ways that Africa and the Bank can work together to minimize the effects of the financial crisis that affected the entire world last year.

Source: Africa World News

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