Some 400 delegates from Africa and Europe will meet in Gaborone May 2011 for the annual Information Society Technologies (IST) Africa conference, an event that discusses current and future Information Communications Technology (ICT) challenges.
IST-Africa 2011 will be held from 11th to 13th May, with presentations on different thematic areas, such as health information management and technology enhanced learning using ICT.
Director of the Department of Research, Science and Technology, Lesego Motoma, said delegates will discuss research findings, present case studies and share experiences in ICT. Leading commercial, government and research organizations will spend days reacting to over 160 presentations from 45 countries.
“Participation in IST-Africa provides a wonderful opportunity to gain a better appreciation of some of the cultural, technological and training issues impacting on global adoption today,” said Motoma.
She said the Botswana research communities have been unable to attend previous conferences because of lack of funds, adding that South Africa has held the conference twice, while Namibia, Mozambique and Uganda have staged it once each.
Matoma stated that the event will raise awareness of the significant progress being made in Botswana in leveraging information society technologies to support sustainable socio-economic growth.
“The government of Botswana took it upon herself to host the event in order to create a platform for researchers to network internationally,” added Motoma.
This year’s conference is to be hosted by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport and Communication.
The IST-Africa initiative directly supports the goals of the 8th Africa-EU strategic partnership, the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) and also the Consolidated Plan of Action for the African on the knowledge economy (ARAPKE).
The opening plenary will feature a high level discussion on the implementation of the 8th Africa-EU partnership while the closing plenary is expected to focus on initiatives supporting development of regional science and technology.
Sponsors and supporter organizations include Mascom, Botswana Post, Botswana Tourism Organization Yarona FM as well the government. The conference will focus on innovation and cooperation between Africa and Europe. It is also supported by European Commission under ICT theme of Framework Programme 7 (FP 7). It is the sixth of the annual conference series.