Briefing note ECA and the WSIS process
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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ECAs Information for Development (currently subprogram 4: Harnessing information for development) activities began in 1979 with the Pan African Development Information System (PADIS) aimed at establishing development information databases in Addis Ababa and other participating centers in African countries. The project significantly improved access to information for enhanced governmental and institutional planning on the continent. Within a decade, 41 countries and 49 sub-regional and regional institutions had joined the network. In this context it was agreed that the WSIS would take place through a series of official mechanisms, including the Preparatory Committee (Prepcom) thematic global conferences and the Regional Preparatory Conferences. Three Preparatory Committee sessions took place in the first phase as well as a series of Regional conferences and thematic workshops. The UN Regional Commissions organized all the Regional Preparatory Conferences. ECA was in charge of the two African Regional Conferences and also coordinated other African thematic meetings.