The 2008 edition of the ITU Telecom Africa conference has started off in Egypt, with about 200 companies from 45 nations attending.
The 12-15 May conference is a “major showcase for cutting-edge ICT” in Africa, the ITU said in a statement. The organisers said that at least 70 heads of international companies and some 50 government ministers are attending the event.
The 2008 edition will be the largest, attracting over 5,000 participants from 93 nations. “This event in Cairo marks a decisive milestone in our commitment to connecting the world,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU’s Secretary. He added that Telecom Africa 2008 was “a strategic step in bridging the digital divide.”
According to the ITU, the exhibition underscores the latest developments in the ICT market.
The event offers both regional and global insights on the continent’s “position in the ICT sector, its unique market drivers and the factors critical to sustaining its most effective enabling environment.”
But host Egypt has been under pressure due to the blocking of the opposition group Kefaya’s (Enough) Web site.
“The Web site is performing normally with other ISP companies, but the technical supervisor of the Web site informed us that the T-Data Co. blocked the Kefaya Web site through its IP address,” Samir Gad, the editor-in-chief of the site, said.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) has condemned the blocking of the Web site, saying this infringes on freedom of speech. Panapress .