African Civil Society for the Information Society

Linked to our presentation of Delphine NANA MEKOUNTE – Cameroun, of February 4, 2006.

Also linked to our presentation of SUMMARY REPORT OF THE YAOUNDE COLLOQUIUM of February 4, 2006.

The African Civil Society for the Information Society (ACSIS) makes The Africa Region Report to CS Bureau:

The African civil society contribution to the WSIS process dates back to before the official launching of the WSIS.

In 2000, during the Bamako meeting titled “The passerelles du developpement” African civil society started its mobilization process to be ready in number for the WSIS process. This explains why, in May 2002, again in Bamako, during the first regional meeting dedicated to WSIS, African civil society was present in large numbers.

A major achievement in the Bamako meeting was the setting up of an inclusive African coordinating body dedicated to mobilization, sensitizing and awareness arising amongst African stakeholders. This body, called the African Group, innovated in many ways.

For the first time, African Ministers officially set up a multi-partnership body composed of 5 government representatives, 3 members of the civil society and 2 from the private sector.

This coordinating mechanism has been working since then and has achieved great results in inputting African priorities and agenda in the two documents adopted at the Geneva WSI Summit in December 2003.

Since then, African civil society has participated in all of the encounters related to WSIS. Initially small numbers of African people were involved . Participant umbers increased to the point where we were able to bring more than 40 participants to the Geneva Summit.

African civil society, in partnership with UNECA (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa) , EPC (….), Francophonie, and many other agencies have organized online discussion and workshops on the various themes discussed at the WSIS. There has been success in placing considerations such as development on WSIS agenda.

The way forward.

The African civil society action goes far beyond the WSIS. This is the reason why, after months of reflection, the representatives and delegates of the African civil society organisations, participating in the WSIS process since the beginning, felt the need to better organize themselves, in a light, smooth running and efficient coordinating mechanism.

The formation of a co-ordination mechanism became a prerequisite at this critical phase of the overall WSIS process, dedicated to action. After months of online discussion, the representatives and Delegates that met during the First Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 2003, held an election to constitute ACSIS (African Civil Society for the Information Society), a Non Governmental Organisation with a non-profit aim.

The action domain for ACSIS is the use of Information and Communication Technology for African Development. The official launch of ACSIS took place in Tunis in April 2004, thanks to the kind invitation of Tunisian civil society, the financial and technical expertise of ECA and the facilitation of the Tunisian Government. This came as the realisation of a long-time dream of African civil society entities which emerged in the general civil society online forum of the African Information Society Initiative.

To better pursue its development goal, and in accordance with the objectives of the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action, African Civil society, based on discussions carried on in its virtual plenary before, during and after the first phase of the WSIS, has moved ahead to an enabling phase in the continent’s Information Society Initiative. (Read the rest on un-ngls).

links:

See also the CEFEPROD, concomitantly Coordinator of the Central African Sub-region Civil Society under the African Civil Society for the Information Society. Delphine Nana Mekounte is the coordinator.

about ACSIS in spain.

The African Information Society Initiative is Africa’s framework to build its information and communication infrastructure. Click on www.uneca.org/aisi.

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