Wednesday, 22 August 2012

There is also the 'renowned' South Korea for bilateral technical assistance in ICT

Out of the current OECD member countries, this Leo, and perhaps some of our readers, would quite easily name the United States of America and most countries in Europe as major sponsors of technical assistance programmes (bilateral or multilateral) in the African continent. But, this perception is beginning to change. The shift in our global political economy, increase in South-South co-operation and great strides by China, India (also here) and Brazil (also here and here) in the continent have contributed to this awareness. In essence, the competition for hearts and minds in the continent is on.

In the midst of all of these things is South Korea - arguably the world's most advanced in ICT and an 'excellent' example in terms of accessibility of government websites. This nation appears to be playing its part as well in an area where it is renowned. Readers may remember a reference to South Korea in the review of Angola regarding the construction of advanced technology centres (ATC). Although not too late, Afro Leo would like to thank Tim Katlic for drawing his attention to this news report that the construction of the technology data centre (TDC) was jointly funded by the Angolan and South Korean governments to the tune of USD 43.7 million. Readers should also note a contradicting report which puts the TDC project at USD30 million, but it is not certain whether 'ATC' and 'TDC' are ultimately the same. Nevertheless, the point is that we now know of South Korea's involvement in an ICT project in Angola.

Afro Leo is also aware that South Korea has supported or pledged to support ICT initiatives in countries such as South Africa and recently in Rwanda. Let's hope that its ICT assistance to these countries would trickle down to the work of their intellectual property (IP) offices. See A-Z of African official IP websites for Rwanda and Angola.

So, for those countries struggling to maintain or get their IP offices online, we now know which country is at the forefront of ICT and probably, best positioned to assist bilaterally.

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South Korea’s collaboration with the African Development Bank, see here 
South Korea to share experience with Africa, see here 
South Korean Don to support Rwanda on ICT see here
2012 Africa-EU Cooperation Forum on ICT in November 2012 see here
NEPAD e-Africa Commission see here and for Infrastructure Consortium for Africa see here

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