The Union Cabinet of India has approved US$ 120 million for its dream e-Project in Africa to bridge knowledge gap among 53 countries.
While announcing the government's decision to implement the project, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, said, the project will showcase India's capability in the IT sector, technology, healthcare and education. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is expected to launch the pilot projects of the Pan-African Network in Ethiopia, which will bring the benefits of tele-education and tele-medicine to the continent. The project includes setting up a VVIP network, which will link the presidents of all the 53 African countries who will have ready access to their counterparts through videoconferencing and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) facilities. The network will also help set-up Internet and videoconferencing services and support e-Governance, e-Commerce, infotainment, resource mapping and meteorological services connectivity. The network will connect five universities, 53 learning centres, 10 super-specialty hospitals and 53 remote hospitals to all 53 African countries. There will be two universities from India and three universities from Africa; three super-specialty hospitals from India and the other seven from Africa in the network. Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) will implement the project in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The external affairs ministry will coordinate the setting up of the project. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and other organisations will support the network. TCIL will manage the network, which will have 169 terminals for an initial period of three years.