5 February 2012

Nigeria: NEPAD, French Agency Sign ICT Devt Grant

The New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) has signed a Grant Facility Agreement (GFA) with the French Development Agency (AFD), towards investing in the development of an Information, Communication Technology (ICT) back bone.

The AFD, a specialised development financial institution, funds sustainable development projects carried by government local authorities, public companies, and the private and associative sectors on five continents - with primacy given to Africa.

According to NEPAD, the grant of Euros 1,350,000 is made available to it by the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-ITF) a European donor coordinated fund, through the AFD, towards the financing of the NEPAD ICT broadband infrastructure network for West, Central and North Africa project.

The project is part of Umojanet, a terrestrial network that will link every African country to its neighbours and will connect to Uhurunet to realise the dream of the cross-border continental NEPAD Network.

The grant completes the initial funds of 850,000 Euros granted by the AFD to the NEPAD secretary to support the initiative.

The signing ceremony took place at the NEPAD Agency offices, Midrand, in South Africa. The GFA was signed by Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NEPAD Agency and Mr. Yves Boudot, Director of the sub-Saharan Africa Department of AFD.

"This is an opportune moment for us both, AFD and NEPAD, to focus on ICT as a crucial element in developing infrastructure in Africa and welcome this support to NPCA as the development Agency of the African Union" said Mayaki at the signing of the GFA.

Boudot, on his side expressed his satisfaction to proceed with the signature and noted that "as the case with AFD support to NEPAD ICT continental infrastructure developments, AFD is ready to discuss widen the scope of collaboration to address other continental infrastructure development challenges."

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