15th Regional EuroAfrica-ICT FP7 Awareness Workshop

euroafrica-ict The 15th Regional EuroAfrica-ICT FP7 Awareness Workshop successfully took place on April 6-7, 2011 in Khartoum, Sudan. The workshop objectives were threefold: 1/. Raise awareness among the Eastern/Northern African ICT community on the opportunities offered by the European Commission (EU) Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7) in the S&T/ICT area, 2/. Identify key stakeholders in the region, and 3/. Enhance Euro-African Collaborative research projects on ICT.

Over 70 participants attended this 2 day event, which started with a welcome address by the event organizer (Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, Vice Chancellor of the Makerere University, part of the EuroAfrica-ICT Consortium) and opening addressed by Prof. El-Siddig A.E. EL Sheikh (Vice Chancellor of the University of Khartoum), Claus Heiberg (Councellor, Delegation of the European Union to Sudan), and HE Teresa Siricio Iro (Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology).

The presentation of the opportunities and challenges of collaboration on S&T/ICT between Europe and Africa, the introduction to the Seventh European Framework Programme for Research & Development, the presentation of the experiences, lessons learned and perspectives of the African participation in S&T/ICT collaborative projects, were some of the main issues that came under the spotlight during those two very intensive and interactive days.

The second day of the workshop was mainly dedicated to working group discussions, organized in four parallel thematic sessions focusing on e-Learning, e-Health, e-Governance and m-Applications (mobile applications), each of them moderated by an African expert in the field. These working groups aimed at identifying challenges, recommendations and research priorities in each targeted areas to feed the EuroAfrica-ICT study on joint African-European research priorities in ICT, that will contribute in shaping the direction of future EC research programme activities.

Following the discussions that had developed in each group, the facilitators presented their conclusions in a wrap-up session, underlining how these sessions had led to useful discussions and exchanges of viewpoints between participants, allowing to identify common project ideas for possible future collaborations.

Visits to the Data Centre of the University of Khartoum, which serves the University campus network and hosts the Network Operation Centre of the Sudanese Universities Information Network (SUIN), and to the exhibition of innovative ICT research work of Sudanese students were also organised on April 7 in the afternoon, together with a visit to the Telecom Tower and a Nile cruise.

The event concluded on a high note of optimism regarding the future perspectives of collaboration between Europe and Sudan, on the basis of the highly positive developments of the country in the ICT and e-Infrastructures domains. The event organizers expressed their satisfaction regarding these promising outputs, that will be reported soon to the European Commission.

The event proceedings, agenda and attendee list are available here.

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