Connect Africa is a global multi-stakeholder partnership to mobilize the human, financial and technical resources required to bridge major gaps in information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure across the region, with the aim of supporting affordable connectivity and applications and services to stimulate economic growth, employment and development throughout Africa. Connect Africa will be launched at a Summit of Leaders in Kigali, Rwanda, 29-30 October 2007, under the patronage of the President of Rwanda, Mr Paul Kagame, as well as the Chairman of the African Union and President of Ghana, His Excellency, Mr John Kufuor.
It will be organized by the International Telecommunication Union, the African Union, the World Bank Group and the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development.
This collaborative effort seeks to involve various stakeholders active in the region, including China, India, the European Commission, G8, OECD and Arab countries, major ICT companies, the United Nations Development Programme and other international organizations.
Connect Africa will bring together partners to help implement a number of ICT projects of significant, catalysing impact on the development of ICT infrastructure in Africa. In doing so, partners will build on the progress of countries which have established an attractive ICT policy and regulatory environment to accommodate the private sector investment required for sustainable network build-out. These projects will in turn trigger a cycle of further investment and development.
Connect Africa aims to complement, accelerate and reinforce existing public and private sector ICT projects and investments by targeting major gaps, mobilizing resources, and enhancing coordination between stakeholders, in support of national and regional activities and priorities. Ministers of the African Union have identified mobilizing resources for key regional ICT initiatives as a top priority, and are expected to actively participate in the Connect Africa Summit along with other partners.