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New Delhi, Oct. 28

INDIA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the African Union to take up a project to digitally inter-connect all the 53 countries of the continent.

The Pan-African Network Project (PANP), initiated by the President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, will be undertaken at a cost of $63.7 million and entails setting up of the infrastructure, operating it and training manpower of the respective countries over a period of five years.

The MoU was signed by the Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr Rao Inderjit Singh, and the AU Commissioner for Infrastructure, Mr Bernard Zoba.

The project will put in place a communications network that will provide latest facilities and connectivity to all Heads of State or Government in the African Union. Various Indian institutes such as Telecommunication Consultants India Ltd, Indian Space Research Organisation, All India Institute of Medical Sciencesand Indira Gandhi National Open University will be the partners in the project. The pilot project would be initiated in Ethiopia.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 29, 2005)
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