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Building an Inclusive Information Society in Africa
Statement of the Addis workshop of African Civil Society organisations, November 2002 - ENGLISH >> FRENCH >>

Resolution of the Addis Meeting

Governmental and non governmental organizations meeting in Addis Ababa on ICT policy-making for civil society agreed on the following:

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1. The World Summit on the Information Society received a clear mandate from the UN Secretariat to outline a clear vision of the way humankind wants to build societies freed from poverty, oppression, imbalances of all kinds and exclusion from the benefits that can be derived from communications technologies and their fair utilization.

2. The WSIS should be people-centered, i.e., concerned with communities' well-being and their access to communications' tools, processes, services, technologies and opportunities. Eradicating poverty should be key in this international drive for economic and social justice.

3. In this perspective, information and communication societies are defined as processes and structures through which access to relevant information resources and communication services and opportunities are harnessed for the purpose of developing sustainable human development, equity and social justice.

4. Participants called attention on the fact that developing information and communications societies entails the promotion of free and fair flow of information and communications as well as the implementation of support and access to information and communications manufacturing capabilities especially with regard to low cost and appropriate technologies.

5. Participants recognized that information and communications processes and technologies should be primarily utilized to tackle outstanding challenges related to peace and security, cultural empowerment and democratic and sustainable human development.

6. The need for capacity building in the areas of networking, training, lobbying and research was stressed whilst government and development agencies were encouraged to place emphasis in these particular areas.

7. Participants urged CSOs to mobilize their respective constituencies around the outstanding issues discussed in Addis Ababa. They urged all CSOs to harness unity of purpose and work towards the successful completion of the African NGOs Forum envisaged between the two main WSIS meetings.

8. CSOs were particularly asked to work in unity towards the successful completion of a Peoples' Summit on Information and Communications societies in 2003 in Geneva.

9. CSOs were encouraged to create a flexible coordinating mechanism with readily available regional networking and outreaching capabilities. The mission of such a mechanism will be to encourage discussions, work towards a much broader inclusion of other CSOs and interested stakeholders and defend common positions on outstanding issues.

The workshop has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), HIVOS and the Open Society Institute (OSI).