In a move to connect 53 African countries, the government of India took the initiative of providing the African Union with Information technology (IT) facilities, the Embassy of India in Ethiopia announced. This initiative was first announced during Indian President's address to the PAN-African Parliament in South Africa on 16th September, 2004, during which he expressed India's willingness to undertake the electronic and knowledge connectivity mission for connecting the 53 African countries. From Oct. 25-29, a 6-member AU delegation led by Dr. Bernard Zoba, Commissioner of the African Union visited India following which a Memorandum of Association was signed between India and the AU. "At the imitative of the President of India" said a press release issued from the Prime Minister's office October 26, 2005, New Delhi, "the government of India is taking up a project to bridge the digital tele-education and tele-medicine, across 53 member countries of the African Union."

To be called The Pan African Network Project (PANP), this initiative will enable India "to share its expertise in the diverse areas of information and satellite technology, education and health care and demonstrate the benefit of tele-education and tele-medicine to the people of Africa," the press release said.

The PANP will also put in place a communications network that will provide state-of-the art communication facilities and connectivity to all Heads of Stated/Government, in the African Union, including video-conferencing facilities, according to the press release.

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