Report of a mission to the G7/developing countries' conference on the information society and development
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)Hafkin, Nancy;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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The ISAD Conference focused on the ways in which developing countries could use Information and Communication Technologies to boost development, to stimulate and support environmentally sustainable growth, and to ensure their effective participation in the emerging global wired economy. The major highlights of the Conference were the keynote address made by the Executive Secretary on Africa's Information Society Initiative (AISI) and the consensus document which was produced by the discussion forum between the G7 and the Developing countries and which was introduced by the Executive Deputy President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, during the closing session as the Chairperson's views concerning ideas emerging from the fora discussions. The AISI document presented Africa's common position and strategies vis a vis the new information trends and was widely welcomed by participants who saw it as a means to enable Africa to leapfrog many development problems. The Chairperson's views were a wrap up of project ideas and a consensus programme that emerged from negotiations between the G7 and the Developing countries. The ISAD Conference shows that there was a clear need for international support for public/private partnership projects in a number of domains aimed at helping to build a truly Global Information Society. The meeting recognized that the developing world had unique needs and challenges and also special skills and experiences in addressing these issues.