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Africa's Civil Society: A Look at the Information Society

31-05-2002 ()
- The international processes of globalisation and liberalisation are not, as they unfold, working in favour of universal access to ICTs in Africa. This is one of the main findings of a meeting of representatives of African civil society, organized by UNESCO this week in Mali's Capital Bamako. The event that brought together the representatives of more than 25 organizations from 11 African countries was organized within the framework of the African regional Conference for the Preparation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
Africa has to pay particular attention to proactive initiatives mobilising all sectors of society in order to ensure that all of its people are active participants in the Information Society, say African civil society groups. They consider that the Information Society in Africa can greatly benefit from strong links between traditional media and new information and communication technologies.

In their final declaration, the participants of the UNESCO meeting stressed that in Africa, broadcasting hasa special role to play in building the Information Society, as the most affordable, the most equitable and the most effective information means for Africa, overcoming barriers such as illiteracy and geographical isolation.

UNESCO has organized the pre-conference workshop to provide a platform for discussion for African professional NGOs and civil society regarding the inclusion of the African region in the emerging Information Society.

UNESCO launched the consultative process with representatives of professional NGOs and civil society to prepare the WSIS in early 2002. After a first round of consultations in February and April, UNESCO plans to enlarge its consultative process to embrace the largest possible number of representatives of NGOs and Civil Society. Regional consultative meetings are an essential part of this process, since they are an efficient way to involve organizations from developing countries and to take into account specific regional problems and issues.
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      · Mali: News Archive 2002
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