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Luxembourg, a partner for Africa in the emergence of information society

Published Tuesday July 19 2011

At the 14th Summit of the African Union in January 2010, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, Mr. Jean Asselborn, stated that the Grand-Duchy wished "to express its will and its readiness to concretely and effectively associate itself with this exciting project” that is the emergence of information and communications technologies (ICT) for the benefit of development in Africa.

Since then, significant progress has been made in the implementation of this political commitment, in cooperation with the African Union Commission and major European players, such as the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) or the European Space Agency (ESA) in the context of the EU-Africa Trust Fund for infrastructures. Moreover, important European and Luxembourg private operators are increasing their investments on the African continent.

Two major projects for ICT development in Africa have been launched with a significant contribution of the Luxembourg Cooperation.

  • The " eHealth for Sub-Saharan Africa Program” (eHSA), managed jointly by the EU-Africa Trust Fund, Lux-Development and ESA, which has just launched late June its first call for tenders;
  • The project " African Internet /Exchange Systems” (AXIS): for its launching, an agreement was signed on 6 May 2011 by Lux-Development, with the help of the Luxembourg Cooperation, and the African Union Commission. The project, identified as a priority, is one of two flagship projects in the field of Information Society that should be implemented as soon as possible within the EU-Africa partnership. It aims at supporting the establishment of a robust Internet infrastructure across the African continent.

These projects are also to be seen in the context of the regional approach developed by the Luxembourg Cooperation and benefit from first experiences gained in West Africa.