NEPAD recognizes the significant development role and crosscutting impact that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can have on all aspects of national life. The development of the ICT sector is therefore identified as one of the priority areas of NEPAD aimed at defining the continentâ€™s new and aggressive effort to accelerate Africaâ€™s economic development and growth.
The purpose of the NEPAD ICT programme is to accelerate development of ICT infrastructure and ICT skills. It is also intended to bridge digital divide in Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world .
The e-Africa Commission was created in 2001 and adopted as an ICT Task Team by NEPAD in 2002. It is responsible for developing policies, strategies and projects at continental level as well as managing the structured development of the ICT sector in the context of NEPAD.
Mandate of the Commission
- The NEPAD e-Africa Commission is mandated to develop a broad NEPAD ICT strategy and comprehensive action plan with the objective of:
- Accelerating the development of African inter-country, intra-country and global connectivity, and
- Promoting conditions for Africa to be an equal and active participant in the Global Information Society
The e-Africa Commission serves as the primary advisory body to the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSIC) of NEPAD, on the development and implementation of an effective ICT Programme for Africa. It advises and assists the HSIC in all matters relating to the implementation of NEPAD ICT programmes.
Functions of e-Africa Commission:
- Develop a comprehensive NEPAD ICT strategy which takes cognizance of, reviews and rationalizes existing projects and initiatives;
- Develop and implement new projects and initiatives to add value to existing ones;
- Recommend the policy, legal, regulatory and commercial environment that is conducive to the implementation of the strategy;
- Recommend specific policies on the development and use of ICTs to enhance the social and cultural development of the African Society;
- Identify projects with immediate benefits, demonstrate the value of ICT, and elicit sustained commitment of all stakeholders;
- Collate information of best practices and experiences in key elements of the ICT programme for benchmarking and development of guidelines;
- Promote the e-Africa initiative to citizens, civil society, corporations and governments of Africa and create avenues for their participation
- Promote e-awareness amongst the citizens of Africa;
- Support the implementation of other NEPAD programmes through the application of ICTs
Focus areas for the Commission
- e-policies, e-Strategies and global ICT governance;
- ICT Infrastructure and development;
- Human Development (e-schools and e-health, skills);
- Business Development and Entrepreneurship;
- Special Programmes (LDCs, Youth, Women e.t.c);
- Local Content
- Internet and Software Development;
- e-Applications (e-government, e-commerce, e-tourism);
- Institution development, capacity building, research and development, Space applications;
- Public e-awareness.