UGANDA HOSTS REGIONAL ICT POLICY BODY, CIPESA

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Uganda has been chosen to host the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) to enhance regional participation in international ICT policy processes.

CIPESA, a programme of the Cape Town-based bridges.org aims to support governments, civil society organisations, and other actors within the East and Southern Africa region to participate in international and regional decision-making processes on a wide range of ICT issues.

"The collaboration will facilitate dialogue and debate among the media and stakeholders," says Vincent Waiswa Bagiire, CIPESA Executive Director, adding, "it will also connect diverse initiatives with common goals and build on efforts already underway in order to bolster momentum around ICT policy-making;

CIPESA is one of two programmes established under the Catalysing Access to Information and Communications Technologies in Africa (CATIA) initiative, which is funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DfID). It falls under component 1f, which deals with international ICT policy-making processes. The other two CATIA programmes in Uganda include the NetTel@Africa network of African training and research institutions which is co-ordinated by the Makerere University Directorate of ICT Services (DICTS) and the Stronger Network of Community, Commercial and Public Service Radio Stations across Africa.

Waiswa who was until last month, Executive Director of the African IT exhibitions and Conferences (AITEC) Uganda also added that Uganda would be the coordinating centre for all bridges.org projects in Africa. The Cape Town-based international NGO promotes the effective use of ICT in the developing world to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. It deals with ICT policy, technology research and ICT project evaluations.