WAGENINGEN, The Netherlands, November 29, 2009
Twenty-four (24) representatives from fourteen (14) African countries are scheduled for a 10-day CTA-led study visit to India, one of the most powerful emerging economies, starting 29 November 2009.
Supported by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the ground-breaking initiative, whose theme is “Social and Economic Development using Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)”, is meant to enhance participants’ knowledge on how India has harnessed ICT to promote its overall growth. Collaborators for the study visit in India include Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) and SREI-Sahaj Corporate.
The delegation will visit Calicut (Kerala State), Bengaluru (Karnataka State), Kolkata (West Bengal State) and New Delhi to experience how India addresses the diversity of challenges and positively enhances its economic growth using ICTs.
Senior officials in government, industry and civil society organizations from these African countries will maximize this opportunity to understand the success story and replicate in their respective regions.
Taking its advantage in IT skills, India has embarked upon some of the most ambitious plans for welfare and governance. For instance, the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), which is currently being implemented, aims to set up more than 100,000 rural telecentres to deliver government services. The African delegation will mostly be interested in ICT application in areas such as governance, agriculture, public health, education and rural empowerment. Moreover, the delegation will analyze the concept of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) that is being used as a key factor for long-term sustainability of the telecentre movement in India.
The participating countries in the study visit include Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Notes for Editors
More about CTA
CTA, (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural cooperation) is an ACP–EU  institution established in 1984, based in Wageningen, The Netherlands, working in the field of information for development.
CTA develops and provides services to improve access to information for agriculture and rural development and strengthens the capacity of ACP stakeholders to acquire, produce, exchange and utilise information in this area. CTA views ICTs as a major technological intervention for faster growth.
For more information about CTA, visit: www.cta.int
More about IL&FS
Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) is one of the largest program management and consultancy institution that focuses on infrastructure development. The company is promoted by large financial institutions like the Life Insurance Corporation of India and HDFC Ltd. IL&FS, has been appointed by the Government of India as the program managers for setting up 100,000 Common Services Centres for the delivery of Government To Citizen (G2C) and Business-To-Customer (B2C) services in rural India. This project is considered to be the largest ICT-driven citizen-centric scheme in the world. IL&FS is implementing the scheme through its Education and Technology Services subsidiary. Till now, the company has facilitated setting up of over 55,000 centres under the Public Private Partnership.
For more information about IL&FS, visit: www.ilfsindia.com
More about Sahaj e Village
Sahaj e village Limited is a subsidiary of SREI Finance, mandated to set up Common Service Centres and bring government and business to rural India, within the Aegis of the National E-Governance Plan. Aimed at bridging the undemocratic urban-rural divide, Sahaj has delved into Infrastructural Development to set up, operate & manage as many as 30,000 CSCs across India under the Public Private Partnership framework. Already about 27 services G2C and B2C services have been rolled out through these CSCs, including government form submission, agricultural soil testing, e-Learning, electric bill collection, mobile top ups, railway reservation, insurance premium collection, and rural job portal.
For more information about Saha e Village, visit: www.sahajcorporate.com
More about Kerala State IT
Kerala State Information Technology Mission (KSITM) is the nodal agency for developing IT infrastructure in the state of Kerala. KSITM is credited with successfully creating a conducive eco-system for taking Information Technology to the common people. KSITM started the “e-Litaeracy for All” campaign through the Akshaya telecentres. Akshaya centres have grown in strength and have added more services later. There are over 2000 Akshaya Centres in the state today. KSITM is set up by the Government of Kerala. For more information about Kerala State IT, visit: http://www.itmission.kerala.gov.in
Mr A. Koda Traore
Programme Coordinator, ICT4D
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), The Netherlands
Dr Arun Varma
IL&FS Educational Technology Services Ltd, India
 African Caribbean Pacific - European Union