John Odey : ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY THE HON. MINISTER FOR INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE ELECTION OF NIGERIA AS THE CHAIRMAN FOR THE BUREAU OF AFRICAN MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES HELD IN CAIRO, EGYPT ON MAY 14, 2008

I am highly delighted to express on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria our profound gratitude and appreciations especially to my colleagues of the West African sub region for the honour of electing Nigeria to serve as the Chair for the Bureau of African Ministers responsible for Communications and Information Technologies. I hereby accept this honour on behalf of Nigeria.

Your Excellencies, distinguished personages, we are fully aware of the enormous challenges facing the African continent in the area of ICT. In the next two years, under our leadership and with your support, we will ensure full implementation of the ARAPKE projects 1, 2 & 3 (African Regional Action Plan on Knowledge Economy) through mobilisation of financial and human resources in collaboration with the AU, ECA, EU, NEPAD and other development partners. We will also ensure that African nations fully participate and benefit from the “Connect Africa” initiative as agreed in Kigali in October 2007.

We believe that other initiatives such as the UHURU-net and UMOJA-net, if fully implemented, will launch Africa as a key player in the ICT sector and meet the 2015 MDGs declaration.

Your Excellencies, the role of the Postal services in the socio-economic development of any nation cannot be overemphasised. Accordingly, we shall give adequate attention to the harmonisation of policies, regulations and laws in the interest of both the community and the businesses in Africa. In this regard, I ask all AU member countries to join PAPU (Pan African Postal Union) and together we will move the continent forward.

Finally, may I use this opportunity to thank all my African colleagues and particularly, the government and the people of Arab Republic of Egypt for their warm hospitality and the commendable leadership they have given to the bureau in the last two years.

I thank you for your kind attention.

JOHN ODEY

Hon. Minister for Information and Communications

Federal Republic of Nigeria

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