Thursday, March 12, 2009

AU News Update: African Women and the Media Summit; Pan-African E-Network Inaugurated



The African Union (AU) will host the 4th African International Media Summit in Addis Ababa March 13-15th 2009 at the African Union Headquarters. Developed by African Communication Agency (ACA), AIMS is a critical conversation about the re-branding of Africa and the portrayal of Africans in the media. The theme of AIMS 2009 will focus on the role of African women in the media and the importance of balanced reporting in an effort to promote the impact and importance of African women in the development of Africa.

Partners responsible for AIMS include African Development Bank (ADB), ECOWAS, Diaspora Africa Forum (DAF), and African Business Roundtable (ABR). AIMS summits brings together Ministers of Information, youth, media magnates and media policy-makers, journalists, broadcasters, Internet media and management and marketing, from all over Africa and the Diaspora.

A major component of each summit is the annual ‘Living Legends Awards Dinner’ and the ‘passing of the torch’ ceremony from the legends to a new generation of achievers. This year’s honorees will be profiled and identified in a forthcoming announcement. The AIMS Gala will be held on Saturday, March 14th at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa.

For more information call 0910427117 or 0018.500126 or log on to the AIMS website:



Addis Ababa, 04 March 2009- The Pan-African e-Network Project formally inaugurated on 25 February 2009, in the Addis Ababa University Tele Education Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The inauguration was held in the presence of H.E Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission; H.E Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for the Infrastructure and Energy of the AU Commission; H.E Ambassador Gurjit Singh, Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia, and other Ministers.

In his speech Mr. Mwencha recalled that it was on May 2005 that the government of India presented the detail proposal for the AU commission to establish a Pan-African e-Network, which linking Member States of the AU and India. “The network composed of optical fiber connections and V-SAT satellite station to provide Member States with Tele-Medicine, Tele-Education and Diplomatic Communication services”. He added.

He also underscored that the inauguration of the Pan African e-Network project has become a reality and it is a perfect example of South-South cooperation.

In his opening remarks Ambassador Singh said that the tele-medicine connectivity will enable the Super Specialty Hospitals to provide expert services to the 53 remote hospitals that are equipped with the required medical equipments like Ultrasound, Pathology and X-ray at each location. The Indian government is also committed to provide tele-medicine facility at the AU Medical Center in Addis Ababa.

He also added that many African countries have shown interest to get the benefit of healthcare and higher education to their citizens through the e-network project. 33 countries in Africa have so far signed the agreement with Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL).

On the inauguration ceremony Mr. Panab Mukherjee, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India addressed High Commissioners of 12 African countries, those the project has fully implemented since February 2009, from the Data Center Studio in India. The countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles and Uganda. Ethiopia is the first beneficiary of the project in Africa under a pilot project, which is already in operation.

The report by the Indian government stated that the network will consist of 5 regional universities, 53 learning centers, 5 regional Super Specialist Hospital (SSHs) and 53 remote hospitals in all countries of Africa.

According to the report by Indian Government the Pan African e-Network project is an initiative of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kamal, the President of India. This proposal was made at the inaugural session of the Pan- African Parliament in Johannesburg in 2004. The network will be connected by a satellite/fiber optical network to provide tele-medicine, tele-education and VVIP connectivity to all African countries. The current total project cost is about US$ 130 million, which will be a total grant of the Indian Government.

*The full speech of the Deputy Chairperson is available on the AU Website:

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