CIIN 4 Africa

You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" George Bernard Shaw

Project Initiative:

CIIN is new strategic networking initiative that is central to the achievement of an African Information Society on the basis of Regional Cooperation and Integration.

CINN provides an inclusive, multi-stakeholder global forum and platform for cross-sectoral policy dialogue and advocacy and by catalyzing action oriented partnerships encouraged under the GAID umbrella.

"our current programmes are based on two major pillars: Promoting regional integration in support of the African Union vision and priorities, and Meeting Africa's special needs and the emerging global challenges".
Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary UNECA Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1 May 2007 , CODI-V meeting.

Regional Cooperation and Integration:

  • Focuses on the development of Information and Knowledge Networks and Resources for critical sectors I.e. agriculture /natural resources transport & communication, Public health, education, business & commerce
  • Requires large scale deployment /implementation of ICT infrastructures.
  • Needs governmental policy & Strategy formulation, regulatory frameworks .
  • Requires significant financial Investment, economic de-regulation & open competitive business environments to ensure full Private Sector participation.
  • In line with the NEPAD, and could serve a basis for African Integration and Objectives of the African Economic Community /African Union.

Connectivity with Broadband to Africa

  • As a key enabler of the four priority areas of the Global Alliance, CINN will support African efforts to accelerate the roll-out of communication infrastructure and increase broadband access across Africa.

  • ICT infrastructure is essential for African countries to achieve regional integration and to enable poor people to participate in markets and help reduce poverty.

  • Economic growth in Africa will depend upon widespread access to ICT services which in turn provide access to local, national, regional and global markets.

  • Therefore, national and regional backbones, cross-border links, and rural connectivity need to be vastly expanded, in parallel with the deployment of applications to take advantage of connectivity for productive use

Specific Project Experience

African Union(AU)- Strategic Info System Network Integrated Infrastructure

The Requirement:

  • Provide ICT capabilities i.e. network/intranet access, collaborative computing/email and networks etc.. and communications/automation tools of both personal and enterprise-wide productivity to users at the General Secretariat.

  • Provide facilities for research and enhanced information dissemination such as organizational website, library and information documentation facilities, electronic printing networks etc...

  • lnternetworking infrastructure allows embassies and other institution to connect and share via remote access services to access intranet information resources.

  • Possibility of scaling the project by linking to Regional offices of AU, sub-regional organizations and other international organizations.

  • Can be regarded as pilot scale project for a continent-wide network.

The Solution:

  • UNDP Sponsored Capacity Building Project that utilizes the information Systems Support component for the establishment of an early warning system for the AU Conflict Management Center.

  • UNOPS Project Services component

  • Local Company to provide the required technology supply, systems integration services, project implementation and overall delivery. Contract award to

Complementary Initiatives

  • One of important project initiative since the launching of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI).
  • Bridge shortcomings with existing Knowledge Networks in Africa and globally, and also complement and supplement other initiatives to be implemented under AISI.
  • CIIN also supports the current theme of GAID
  • CIIN is complimentary to .Africa

Strategic Use of the Knowledge Network

  • Connectivity of all the RECs to promote networking activities via Internet / Intranet /Extranet
  • Facilitate cross-border knowledge sharing and research partnerships with key knowledge end-users.
  • Development of integrated databases and local content to support decision making and to link the public, private sector, and civic society to the RECs
  • Reduce cost of communication and increase personal communication
  • Enhance regional identity and global presence
  • Link and participate with other existing professional knowledge networks and the regular programs of the ECA
  • Generate demand-driven research relevant to practical policy issues
  • Increase competitiveness and productivity
  • Upgrade of equipment and training in the use of new information and communication technologies
  • Development of an effective communication strategy to make known the work of RECs


  • Internet /Intranet/Extranet
  • Web Portals, Web Casting, Web Content Development
  • Integrated DataBase
  • Multimedia Capabilities
  • Broadband, VOIP, Mesh Network
  • Data Video Streaming, Data Casting via Satellite
  • Knowledge search engines

Sectoral Applications

  • E-government
  • Micro Finance
  • E- Education
  • E-Health/Telemedicne
  • E-Commerce
  • Academic Research (S&T)

Project Stakeholders

  • Regional Economic Communities (RECs)
  • Policy Makers
  • Institiute of Higher Learning
  • Civil Society
  • Private Sector

Action Plan


  • Existing regional Solutions
  • Civil Society
  • Regional Contacts
  • Brain storming
  • Vision /Mission papers

Plan of Implementation:

  • Business Plan
  • Use of Network
  • Technology: Broadband, Wi-fi, VOIP
  • Resources
  • Training/Capacity Building

Critical Success Factor

  • Assessment of Indigenous Knowledge
  • Early Commitment of Stakeholders
  • Participation of leading Content Dev Group
  • Selection of Tested Technologies/Applications
  • Strong Local Presence/Expertise
  • Team Work among stakeholders
  • Superior Project Management Methodology
  • Training (Capacity Building)
  • Support - Post Implementation
  • Funding and Resource Management

RI promote sustainable growth

Historically, the African domestic market has been fragmented by high internal and external barriers. In 1991, the Abuja Treaty was adopted, establishing a timetable towards the creation of a pan-African Economic Community by the year 2015.

The existing Regional Economic Communities were to be the foundation. This is an ambitious objective, but the first building block must be the creation of free trade areas that can be the foundation for wider economic integration at the regional and continental level.

There are huge challenges posed by the proliferation of regional economic groupings and protocols across the continent, characterised by overlapping membership.

However, progress has been made in the past decade. Most regions have now adopted a common external tariff structure (usually involving no more than three to four bands) – the most recent example being the EAC in January 2005 – while some, including CEMAC, WAEMU and member countries in COMESA, have also removed custom duties among themselves.

Recent ECA estimates that welfare gains from regional integration in sub-Saharan Africa alone, could be of the order of US$1.2 billion, reinforcing the view that Africa’s own liberalisation offers major gains.