World Summit on the Information Society - WSIS
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
is an initiative of the 1998 Plenipotentiary Conference of International
Telecommunication Union (ITU). It was endorsed by the United Nations
General Assembly as an effective means to assist the United Nations
in fulfilling the goals of the Millennium Declaration. Secretary
General Kofi Annan stated, "the Millennium Summit recognized the
key role of partnerships involving governments, bilateral and multilateral
development agencies, the private sector and other stakeholders
in putting ICTs in the service of development."
The World Summit will provide the global platform
where key players: Governments, UN agencies, private sector and
the civil society, will come together to develop a common vision
and an understanding of the Information Society and to adopt a declaration
and a plan of action. It will be held from 10 to 12 December 2003
in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis.
The World Summit will be preceded by Preparatory
meetings, the first one will be held in Geneva from 1-5 July 2002.
Regional preparatory conferences are expected
to take place in each of the regions of the world before the Geneva
2003 Summit. "The regional conferences will assess the key challenges,
opportunities and constraints relating to the Information Society,
develop a common vision and understanding for the region and prepare
a plan to address the key issues and solve the problems identified".
Each region is expected to organize regional conferences. The African
Regional Conference will be organized in Bamako under the auspices
of His Excellency Alpha Oumar Konare, President of the Republic
of Mali, from 26-30 May 2002.
Themes of the Conference
The themes of the Conference workshops were adopted
by as follows:
- What Africa brings to the Information Society: its values,
its knowledge, its stakeholders. References of the Information
Society, content creation, needs and usage.
- What the Information Society brings to Africa: national and
sectoral ICT strategies, access to rural areas, sectoral applications,
regional and sub-regional cooperation, etc.
- What Africa wants to preserve in the Information Society: its
cultural diversity, its languages, its creativity, legal issues,
- How Africa would benefit from the Information Society: technical
conditions to access, infrastructure, software and digital divide,
The Way Forward
Governments, the Civil Society and the Private
sector are expected to take part in the substantive and financial
preparation of the Bamako 2002 Conference to make it a success.
They are also encouraged to organize thematic workshops on or before
26 and 27 May 2002 as input to the Bamako 2002 Conference.
For more information go to the following:
Websites and links:
Africa Regional conference: