The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will host a week-long gathering of regional information experts beginning tomorrow to look at how cultivating the links between information development and good governance can help Africa make tangible progress towards equitable growth and ensure poverty reduction.
Development Information experts from 53 African countries will gather at the ECA's Headquarters in Addis Ababa from 10 to 16 May 2003, for the third meeting of the Committee on Development Information (CODI III), to discuss the link between development information and good governance.
The Committee is one of the ECA's key forums - the regional body has six other technical working groups - working to ensure implementation of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) and to foster the growth of an information society on the Continent. The Committee also provides advice on measures to improve all aspects of statistical development of ECA member States, and on the building, maintenance and dissemination of regional development databases.
This year's theme, "Information and Governance," addresses the regional consensus that Africa's development challenges cannot be achieved in the absence of good governance. The meeting will highlight the link between development information and the on-going discourse on governance in Africa, and recommend strategies for providing information for good governance to Member States, ECA and its partner organizations.
Participants at the meeting are drawn from national statistics offices and population agencies, as well as university libraries, archives and documentation centres, and information and communication institutions, telecommunications agencies and national mapping agencies.
"Since good governance requires transparency and community participation in the decision process," says Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director of ECA's Development Information Services Division, "it is important that appropriate data be collected, maintained, processed into information and made easily accessible to the general citizenry."