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AFRO-NETS> ACT 2001 - The African Computing & Telecommunications Summit

ACT 2001 - The African Computing & Telecommunications Summit

30 July - 2 August 2001
Pretoria, South Africa

ACT Summit once again provides Africa's IT and communications profes-
sionals and policy-makers with a high-quality education programme.

The third annual African Computing & Telecommunications Summit, to be 
held in Pretoria, South Africa over 30 July - 2 August, will yet 
again provide a unique education and marketing platform for IT & 
telecommunications managers, executives, service providers, policy-
makers, resellers and innovators from throughout Africa.

The four-day event consists of a series of specialised briefings, 
workshops and forums, which together provide broad coverage of latest 
developments in computing and telecommunications, as well as in-depth 
specialised knowledge on key topics. Lead sponsor of the event is 
Nortel Networks, with co-sponsors including UUNET, the South African 
Department of Communications and IT Web.

The main conference programme includes Strategy and Management Brief-
ings as well as a stream on New Technical Frontiers, to appeal to 
both technical and management attendees.

Management and Strategy topics include: 
* Moving Africa into the collaborative commerce era 
* Starting small with e-commerce and avoiding a dot bomb 
* Extending online procurement to SMME players in an emerging market 
* How to develop an e-business plan 
* Transform the finance department from bean-counters to deal-makers 
* The cyber war is now! 
* How to play globalisation in Africa and win

New Technology Frontier topics include: 
* IP - The foundation of new market innovations 
* The embedded information technology revolution 
* VSAT solutions for Internet connections 
* Go global in 20 minutes 
* A return to network-centric computing 
* Cost-effective Linux soultions for Africa 
* SMS applications to extend Internet connections in Africa 
* The opportunities of Internet telephony

Keynote presentations in the Plenary sessions include: 
* IT in banking - The challenges and opportunities facing African 
* Wireless Africa - Hype or reality 
* Policy models that work and Africa ignores at its peril 
* Nurturing Africa's entry into the Information Age

Alec Erwin, South Africa's Minister of Trade & Industry, will be the 
opening keynote speaker.

One of the special events at ACT is the African e-Governance Forum. 
The keynote address for this will be given by Professor Thomas Riley, 
Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Centre for Electronic Governance. 
Other presentations in the forum will be by Dr John Onunga, Co-
ordinator of the East African Electronic Consultative Group in Kenya, 
Rogers Okot-Uma from the Commonwealth Secretariat and Neville Nicho-
las, project director of South Africa's SAITIS Project

There is also an Educations & Training Forum, which will focus on Af-
rica's IT skills shortage, as well as the application of information 
technology in the continent's educational development.

A major highlight of this year's ACT will be the African ISP Forum 
which is intended to bring together representatives from ISPs 
throughout Africa to provide them with an intensive information pro-
gramme on the technical and organisational ways in which they can 
work together at national and regional levels to increase the effi-
ciency and reduce the costs of their Internet links. The Forum is be-
ing co-ordinated by South Africa's ISP Association, with support from 
the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. The UK's Department 
for International Development and the French government are providing 
scholarships for representatives of African ISPs to attend the Forum. 
The keynote address for the Forum will be given by Dave Meintjes, 
Commercial Director of UUNET: "How competition and co-operation are 
both necessary to bring Africa into the Information Age".

With network security being a major concern for all organisations, 
ACT 2001 has a major eSecurity Briefing, sponsored by South Africa's 
eSecure magazine. Speakers include Darren Smith, MD of the magazine, 
Alan Draper of Sophos Anti-Virus in the UK, and Maeson Maherry of the 
South African Certification Agency. Kevin Isaac of Symantec will 
speak on "Security in a connected world: What every CEO, CIO and IT 
executive should know about security".

The eSecurity Briefing will be followed by a workshop on "Developing 
a security model to suit your needs, including a live network hack 
demonstration by UUNET and Nanoteq.

The Global VSAT Forum is hosting two VSAT workshops at ACT: 
* African satellite regulation - National reforms in the regional 
* African networks redefined - Money, margins and markets

The Association for Progressive Communications and SangoNet are host-
ing two training workshops: 
* Using a results-oriented approach in planning for medium and small 
  ICT enterprises, public sector, civil society and development insti-
* Database-driven web publishing and portal management.

The Linux Professional's Association of South Africa is hosting a 
workshop on Open Source software solutions at ACT in response to the 
increasing interest around Africa in the lower costs and higher lev-
els of stability offered by Linux-based systems.

ACT 2001 will also include a range of social events, providing the 
high level of hospitality for which AITEC is renowned throughout the 
continent, giving delegates, exhibitors and speakers the opportunity 
to mix socially and make valuable business and professional contacts. 
The hospitality programme will culminate with the annual ACT Gala 
Dinner, sponsored this year by UUNET. This year's dinner will include 
presentation of the Nancy Hafkin Award for achievement in develop-
ment-oriented ICT projects.

ACT 2001 will include a major exhibition including most of Africa's 
major IT and telecommunications suppliers, including Alcatel, Nortel, 
UUNET, Symantec, IP Planet, Siemens, Transtel and Sybase. Arivia.kom, 
South Africa's huge state-owned IT and telecommunications company, 
formed recently through the merger of three state corporations, has 
booked a large stand of 670 sq metres.

The full ACT 2001 programme and delegate registration form can be 
found on the AITEC web site: 

Peter Irvine

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