Alternatives Supports New African Communications Advocacy Network

The GOREe-TIC network officially got underway on Friday June 20, after the last day of a workshop on development policies for information and communication technology (TIC) at the Goree Institute near the Senegalese capital. This network will coordinate research projects and advocacy aimed at promoting telecommunications development in French-speaking Africa. The workshop was organised by the Association for Progressive Communication(APC) with the support of the International Development Research Center (IDRC).

“Universal, affordable access to information and communication technology helping Africa to develop, that is our dream,” exclaimed Sylvie Siyam, who participated in the discussions at the Goree Institute in Senegal. The first president of GOREe-TIC, Mrs. Siyam, from Cameroonian NGO PROTEGE QV, thanked the participants from Benin, Cameroon, Canada, Congo, Morocco, Mali, Niger and Senegal for their dedication in articulating a coordinated plan of action for Central and West Africa. “All of those people here participating as part of civil society will be the engine that drives research and will help to develop a knowledgeable, effective advocacy throughout 6 countries in Central and West Africa, as well as on a regional level,” added Mrs. Siyam. More than twenty people from Central and West African civil society identified the necessity of new telecommunications laws, regulations and strategies as a priority for the region.

The goal is to make telephone, Internet and quality, affordable communications infrastructure available to citizens, even those in the most remote or impoverished areas of the six target countries of Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Mali, Niger and Senegal. GOREe-TIC will be coordinated by Mme. Coura Fall from the APC and supported by three standing committees: training, research and advocacy. Besides Alternatives, other founding members of GOREe-TIC include Mali’s AFRISPA, APC, Congo’s AZUR Development, Alternative du Niger, the CRDI (Senegal), the Forum des alternatives du Maroc, ISOC Senegal, Benin’s ORIDEV, OSIRIS, Cameroon’s PROTEGE QV, and individual support from Mouhamet Diop, Jacques Iyok, Ken Lohento (of IPAO) and Malick Ndiaye.

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