ICTs for Africa Roundtable

Examples from Agriculture, Health and the Textile Sector
Photo: Viola Krebs
Photo: Viola Krebs
24 September 2012

On 21st September 2012, five years to the day since the launch of the initial idea of the E-TIC program, concrete results were presented at the International Conference Center of Geneva on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in rural areas of Senegal, Mali and Uganda, more specifically in the fields of agriculture and health.

Speakers, both physically present at the International Conference Center of Geneva and others calling in from Senegal, Uganda, Canada (Mali) and Italy, shared their experiences and good practices.

At the heart of the discussion was the inclusion of oral communities through a multimedia approach, tackling issues such as organic farming, health problems due to the unprotected use of pesticides and more.

The afternoon started with an opening session where Ms. Viola Krebs, Executive Director of ICVolunteers welcomed all the participants and presented the basic concept of the E-TIC program. Her presentation was followed by opening remarks by Ms. Arame Diaw-Diop of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) who introduced the Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes, followed by Mr. Jose María Díaz Batanero of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) who made the link with the history of the World Summit on the Information Society and its follow-up, which involves many civil society organizations involved in concrete projects and programs.

The session that followed focused on concrete projects related to knowledge sharing, ICT and development within various sectors in Africa. The speakers shared their experiences, with a particular focus on the “E-TIC: Sahel InfoHubs project” related to agriculture, fishing and husbandry in Senegal and Mali. The session also presented the experience of Bwindi National Park and its telecenter in Uganda and the Ethical Fashion project, starting in Ghana.

What agriculture for tomorrow? This was the basic question asked by Sigfrido Romeo, moderator of a session focusing on agricultural practices. The starting point of this session was the experiences of the work done in the development of the AgriGuide. The question of the use of pesticides, environmentally respectful practices and organic farming as well as the proper use of relevant communication tools were at the heart of the discussion.

The roundtable ended with a discussion about the ingredients needed to build successful partnerships for development-related ICT projects. What are the criteria today? What are the challenges and opportunities, and how to work with the private sector and foundations? These were some of the questions presented to the panel by the moderator, Nazir Sunderji. Also discussed were WSIS+10 and the stocktaking work done by ITU.

The events were organized by ICVolunteers, an international non-profit organization, with the support of technical partners and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

Program

Interpretation English-French

14:00 – 14:20:  Welcome Conference

  • Opening remarks: Ms. Viola Krebs, Executive Director, ICVolunteers
  • Opening remarks: Mme Arame Diaw-Diop, Responsable de suivi et d'évaluation de projets, Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)
  • Opening remarks: Mr. Jose María Díaz Batanero, Coordinator, Inter-Sectoral Activities, International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

14:20 – 15:30  Ongoing Initiatives: Communication, ICT and Development

-- 15 minute Coffee Break --

15:45 – 17:00   Best practices: agriculture for tomorrow?

  • Mr. Ousman Aly Pame, Mayor of Guede-Chantier and Professor at the University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar
  • Namory Diakhate, ICVolontaires-Sénégal
  • Dr. Lucas Luisoni, hepia (Haute Ecole du paysage, d'ingénierie et d'architecture de Genève, filière agronomie)
  • Mr. Michael Riggs, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Moderator: Dr. Sigfrido Romeo, agronomist, AgriGuide and ICVolunteers

17: 00 – 17:45   What are the ingredients for future projects and partnerships - requirements, interests and needs

  • Professor Michel Oris, Institut de Socioéconomie, University of Geneva
  • Ms. Arame Diaw-Diop, Responsable de suivi et d'évaluation de projets, Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)
  • Ms. Kim Jeoung Hee, International Telecommunications Unions (ITU)
  • Mr. Fernando Terry, Ecotransferts
  • Moderator: Mr. Nazir Sunderji, ICVolunteers

17:45-18:00  Conclusions and Next Steps

-- Cocktail --

Expected Results

Building “win-win” partnerships and solutions, involving academic institutions, non-governmental and international organizations, as well as other partners such as the private sector.

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