AITEC, Africa’s leading organizer of ICT conferences and exhibitions, will be holding its fifth annual African Computing & Telecommunications Summit, ACT 2003, in Abuja over 26-29 August 2003. ACT is established as the continent’s top gathering of ICT users, suppliers, service providers, policy-maker and innovators. The theme of this year’s summit is: "Mobilising ICT applications and projects for effective corporate, national and regional development".

AITEC’s Group Chairman, Sean Moroney, said that no other event draws together such a distinguished and widespread range of decision-makers from all four corners of the continent. AITEC expects over 500 participants. "We are delighted that the Nigerian government has invited AITEC to hold ACT 2003 in Abuja, the Federal Capital of the Africa’s largest and fastest growing ICT market," he said.

ACT will include a number of specialist forums and a major highlight will be the West African Internet Forum (WAIF), which AITEC will be holding in collaboration with the Nigerian Internet Group (NIG), the ISP Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Balancing Act of the UK and the African ISP Association (AfrISPA). "Following the East African Internet Forum in Nairobi at last year’s ACT and the Southern African Internet Forum which AITEC held in April, it is time for West Africa’s ISPs, regulators and policy-makers to get together in one Forum to accelerate Internet development in West Africa through national and regional co-operation and increased technical knowledge. ACT will provide the platform to catalyse this process," said Moroney.

Another key forum at the event will be the African Open Source Forum, which AITEC is holding in association with the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSFFA), which was formed earlier this year. "There is an intense debate currently raging across Africa regarding the pros and cons of open source software as a means of reducing computing costs. The Forum will provide a valuable opportunity for delegates to assess the arguments on each side and enable them to develop their computing strategies on a well-informed basis," said Toyin Ogunseinde, GM of AITEC Nigeria and an acknowledged computer industry leader in Nigeria.

ACT will also include the African Telecommunication Operators Forum, to provide an opportunity for the growing number of operators across West Africa and the rest of the continent to participate in an intensive information and education programme to improve their services and profitability in an increasingly competitive environment.

ACT’s SME Corporate Solutions Forum will be aimed at the enterprise management needs of small and medium-sized organizations across Africa. In addition, AITEC is going to work closely with stake-holders in Nigeria and across Africa to develop an eGovernance Forum at ACT 2003, aimed at briefing legislators and administrators on best ICT practices in government.

Intensive training workshops will cover a range of specialist topics, including:

- VSAT technical implementation

- VSAT business management and marketing

- Value added services for telecommunication operators, including SMS business opportunities

- Technical skills for ISPs

- New wireless frontiers, including WiFi


The Highway Africa conference is a major continental event centered on new media issues for journalists. The 2003 conference theme being "Mainstreaming Media in the Information Society" aims to bring African media into the centre of debates about the Global Information Society. The seventh year of this annual meeting of the African journalism community is organised by the Rhodes University Department of Journalism and Media Studies in Grahamstown, South Africa and co-hosted by the SABC. The conference will be held in the historic town of Grahamstown, South Africa from the 8 to 10 September 2003.

The Awards for the Innovative use of New Media in Africa are presented at the conference and aim to recognise the creative, innovative and appropriate use of new media technology in Africa. Judges are looking for innovative applications of new media in African journalism. Awards are given in three categories: individual/student, non-profit and corporate. Ultimately the awards strive to highlight innovations that result in African media benefiting from new ideas and developments in communications technology.