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Message from H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi

Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi

           It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all participants of the World Information Forum to be held in Addis Ababa from 22 to 24 August 2007. The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia draws satisfaction from being able to host the 3rd World Information Technology Forum (WITFOR) in collaboration with the International Federation for Information Processing.

          The Forum, organized under the theme “ICT for Development and Prosperity” is a unique instrument for implementing the Plan of Action of the World Summit on Information Technology. As the Forum brings together ICT educators, experts and other stakeholders from across the globe, it provides developing countries with a unique opportunity to explore, and benefit from, the most recent advances in the ICT field in order to overcome their resource constraints through innovative uses of ICT tools, partnerships and resource sharing.

          We, on our part, are keenly aware of the crucial role that ICT can play in the attainment of our development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.  We are determined to optimally utilize ICT for the successful realization of our development strategy. The School Net Program connecting all secondary schools in Ethiopia has been effectively implemented. We have also begun connecting lower level administrative structures in our country (Kebeles and Woredas) with the view to training farmers in the use of better agricultural inputs as well as to providing them with timely information on the agricultural products market.  The results registered so far have been encouraging.  We intend to expand the effort we are making in the area with even greater resolve to use ICT as a vehicle for the successful realization of our Agriculture-Led Industrialization Development Policy and of our Capacity Building Programme.

          It is also fitting to note that this Forum is being convened on the eve of the Ethiopian Millennium, an occasion when Ethiopians will be reflecting on their past achievements and setbacks and on the development challenges that lie ahead. 

          It would be remiss of me if I failed to mention the ICT divide between developed and developing countries. This divide will have to be bridged if we are to create a truly global communication community. In this regard, this Forum fulfils a pivotal function of assisting the efforts of developing countries to keep pace with the on-going technological transformation.

          I wish all participants of the Forum a pleasant stay in Addis Ababa and assure them that the Government of Ethiopia will exert its utmost efforts to contribute to the successful convening of the meeting.



Meles Zenawi,

Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia


International Federation For Information Processing
In collaboration with
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Ethiopian Information and Communication Technology Development Agency
Ethiopian Information Technology Professional Association

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