Information Society Summit Kicks Off in Tunis This Week

Tunis, 14 November 2005 - About 11,000 participants from all walks of life - including heads of states and governments, representatives of the private/public sector and civil society - are due to attend the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which will take place in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005.

The second phase is aimed at reaching agreements on the outstanding and contentious issues of financing the information society and Internet governance.

In preparation for this phase, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) held the African Regional Preparatory Conference in Accra, Ghana in February 2005, which brought together over 2,000 African ICT practitioners. They held discussions on an African-led roadmap for Africa's Regional Plan of Action on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE). In Tunis, African delegates will meet again to fine-tune the plan.

Parallel events, including high-level panel discussions, will be held in collaboration with UN Regional Commissions and other partners in the ICT community. ECA's new Executive Secretary, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, will feature in the panel debates. The key focus of these events will be to concretise future collaboration and specific steps towards bridging the digital divide.

A number of exhibitions showcasing and sharing information on ICT solutions will be on display at the 'ICT4all' exhibition. ECA's exhibition will demonstrate the commission's various services and products aimed at harnessing ICT for development.

Media coverage will be provided by ECA in collaboration with the Highway Africa News Agency (HANA) in the form of a daily print and online newspaper.

The first phase of WSIS took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 10 to 12 December 2003, where 175 countries adopted a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.

For more information on the events, media coverage and other updates, please visit the ECA Conference website at: http://www.uneca.org/disd

In Tunis, contact: Mercy Wambui, Communication Officer - Email mwambui@uneca.org
mwambui@gmail.org

Issued by the ECA Communication Team

PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Tel: +251 11 551 58 26
Fax: +251 11 551 0365

Email: ecainfo@uneca.org
Web: www.uneca.org

ECA PRESS RELEASE No.20/2005

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