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General News Fri, 9 May 2003

Conference on Africa's ICT programme opens

A two-day international conference aimed at harnessing and extending the benefits of Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications for Africa's socio-economic development opened in Accra on Thursday.

The conference is being organised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Programme on Internet and Telecom Convergence of the US, the UN Development Fund For Women and other international organisations.

It forms part of efforts by Africans in the Diaspora to bring governments, business, academia and the development community together to implement a plan to enhance technology innovation on the African continent.

Topics being discussed include: "Empowering Through Transfer" and "Capacity Building, Building A Future And Changing The World Of Information Technology."

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Michael Best, a Research Scientist with MIT, said some objectives of the conference included bringing people together to harness the human resource for technological advancement. He said the conference was also focusing on sourcing funds to undertake a pilot programme to extend information communication technology to the rural areas of Ghana.

Ms Awo Quaison-Sackey, Chief Executive of AQSolutions, an offshore applications development and maintenance company in the US, said a digital Diaspora network for Africa had been launched a year ago to accelerate socio-economic development through ICT.

Two groups of young Ghanaians, who participated in a competitions aimed at developing business talents for socio-economic development, were each presented with their awards of $1,000 each.

It is "seed money" to help the young people start a business. It was provided by Ghana New Ventures Competition Incorporated, a non-profit organisation in the US, established to build the infrastructure of entrepreneurship in Ghana.

Source: GNA
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