e-connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa helps bridge digital divide


New Delhi : Describing the Pan-African e-Network Project as a shining example of South-South Cooperation, India said that e-connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa to help bridge the digital divide.

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“The Project aims to create significant linkages for tele-education and tele-medicine, making available the facilities and expertise of some of the best universities and super-specialty hospitals in India to the people of Africa”, said India’s External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee inaugurating the Pan-African e-network with a brief video-conference call with his counterparts in 11 African countries – Ethiopia, Senegal, Seychelles, Benin, Gabon, The Gambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana and Burkina Faso.

These countries are part of the first phase of the project, which is likely to be expanded to interlink the offices of the heads of state of the 53 African countries, he said, adding that the second and third phases will see the addition of 18 more countries by the end of June.

The External Affairs Minister had a brief online interaction on bilateral matters with each of the eleven ministers individually through the network.

While addressing the ministers and other dignitaries online in eleven countries where the network was inaugurated, Mukherjee exhorted the countries to take advantage of the full range of services offered by India.

He also asked the remaining countries to join the project early.

Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had first offered the proposal five years ago when he addressed the inaugural session of the Pan-African Parliament in Johanessburg.

Since then, India has invested over $ 125 million in the project.

The Project aims at providing tele-education services to 10,000 African students to undertake Post-Graduate, Under-Graduate, PG Diploma and Diploma and skill enabling certification courses in subjects such as Business Administration, IT, International Business, Tourism and Finance.