African ministers in charge of Communication and Information Technologies set to convene, as Experts Meeting kicks off


African Union (AU)

Ministers in charge of Communication and Information and Communication Technologies are scheduled to convene virtually on the 27 of October 2021, to deliberate and adopt decisions on accelerating implementation of the of various programs, projects and initiatives in the field of Communication and ICT. Gathering under the 4th African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT (STC- ICT4), the Ministerial meeting is mandated to oversee the development and implementation of policies on access to information and freedom of expression; oversee the promotion of the capacity of African media; developing common African e-strategies; discuss resource mobilisation and capacity building for implementation of the African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy; promote public investment in ICT infrastructure; and develop frameworks for ICT policy and regulation harmonisation in Africa.

The 4th African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT, is preceded by the meeting of experts, who kicked off a two-day meeting on the 25th of October, to evaluate key strategic issues. The experts set the ground for the ministerial meeting, by evaluating and discussing among other key issues, the AU digital transformation strategy for Africa; the establishment of Africa’s Digital Single Market; the Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA); the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA); the Strategy for Unlocking Access to Basic Infrastructure and Services for Rural and Remote Areas; AU Agenda 2063 flagship projects and specific initiatives; the Action plan of sector response to COVID-19; the AU Branding and Communication Guide; and Corporate Visibility, Advocacy and Public Relations.

Addressing the meeting of experts, Mr. Atef Marzouk, Acting Director of ICT/ Infrastructure and Energy Department of the African Union Commission, and the Chair of the STC Bureau at the Experts level, Mr. Farouk Safwat, underscored the need to work hard, particularly in the unparalleled times of the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the power of digital technology is harnessed to support inclusivity and integration. The need to enhance security in the digital space was also emphasised.

The experts meeting will also conduct the elections of its fifth bureau. Currently, the Bureau is chaired by the Arab Republic of Egypt. The outcome report of the experts meeting with observations and recommendations, will be considered at the upcoming Ministerial meeting.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).

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