2.2.2 New Partnership for Africa's Development: The e-Africa Programme (NEPAD)
NEPAD's e-Africa programme (formerly called the NEPAD e-Africa Commission) aims to promote Africa as a globally competitive digital society by developing policies, strategies and projects at the continental level for the development and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) throughout Africa.41
A key project of the e-Africa programme is the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative, which was adopted in 2003, during the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum. The Initiative is a priority regional activity to ensure that primary and secondary students in Africa have the skills to participate effectively in the global information society. One of the components of the project is infrastructure, and there is a goal to provide all African primary and secondary schools with Internet connections. To date, sixteen African countries have signed MoUs with the NEPAD e-Africa Programme and a consortium of private sector companies to participate in the NEPAD e-Schools demo Project. More than 80 demonstration NEPAD e-School installations have been implemented. Each school in the demonstration project was equipped with a computer laboratory containing at least 20 PCs, as well as a server, networking infrastructure and peripheral devices such as scanners, electronic whiteboards and printers. The schools were connected to the Internet to enable them to access content and to communicate with the rest of the world.42
41 NEPAD e-Africa Commission, “NEPAD e-schools Initiative. Available at http://www.eafricacommission.org/projects/127/nepad-e-schools-initiative#1.
42 NEPAD e-Africa Programme. Available at: http://www.nepad.org/regionalintegrationandinfrastructure/infrastructure/ict