IST-Africa 2006 took place 3 - 5 May 2006 at the CSIR International Convention Centre Pretoria, South Africa. Part of the IST-Africa Initiative, which is supported by the European Commission under the IST Programme of Framework Programme 6 (FP6), IST-Africa 2006 was the first in an Annual Conference Series which will bring together delegates from commercial, government & research organisations across Africa and from Europe, to bridge the Digital Divide by sharing knowledge, experience, lessons learnt and good practice.
IST-Africa 2006 was a great success, attracting over 300 delegates from 38 countries and 4 continents, with Exhibitors from 13 African and European countries. Many of the European presentations in this year's conference programme were funded by the IST Programme under FP6.
IST-Africa 2007 will take place 09 - 11 May 2007 in Maputo.
IST-Africa 2006 featured an Exhibition that provided the opportunity to showcase research results and applications through technology demonstrations, whether funded commercially or at national, regional or European level. The Call for Exhibitors opened on 06 February and closed on 28 February.
The Call for Papers for the IST-Africa 2006 Conference was published in August with a deadline of 30th November 2005 for paper and workshop submissions. The Call for Papers was very heavily oversubscribed, with submissions from 40 countries, 70% outside Africa. All papers submitted were double blind peer reviewed by the International Programme Committee (IPC).
The Final Programme presented is available online. Keynote Speakers included Mosibudi Mangena, Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa; Venâncio Massingue, Minister of Science and Technology, Mozambique; Peter Zangl, Deputy Director-General, DG Information Society and Media, European Commission; Mr. Heikki Tuunanen, Ambassador of Finland to South Africa; Ingo Juraske, VP EMEA, Hewlett-Packard Europe; Joachim Schaper, SAP Research; Dr. Cheikh Diarra Chairman for Africa, Microsoft and Prof. Derek Keats, The University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Major Sponsors included the South African Department of Science and Technology, the City of Tshwane, the Embassy of Finland, South Africa, Hewlett-Packard Europe and Microsoft. Technical Co-sponsors included IEEE Region 8 (Europe, Middle East, Africa), IEEE South Africa Section, IEEE South Africa Computer Chapter, IEEE UKRI Computer Chapter and IEEE Control and Communications (Ireland) Joint Chapter. Other supporting organisations include the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).
The goals of the IST-Africa Conference Series are Community Building to facilitate EU-African research cooperation and successful exploitation of research results, to stimulate take-up of RTD results by industry, Small and Medium Sized Businesses and the public sector, to promote knowledge sharing between commercial organizations, government agencies and the research community, to exchange experiences about the current state of eAdoption at a sectoral, national or regional level, and to support International Cooperation and open up the European Research Area (ERA) to Africa.
IST-Africa 2006 focused on Applied IST research topics addressing major societal and economic challenges, which is part of the European Commission's Information Society Technologies (IST) programme. The programme combined strategic keynote presentations, technical and policy papers, case studies, workshops, an exhibition and social activities. Many of the presentations in this year's conference programme were funded by the IST Programme under FP6.
The IST-Africa Conference will provide a collegiate setting for presentations and discussions of national and regional developments, issues of concern and good practice models. It will also provide an excellent networking environment for delegates to discuss problems, share knowledge, obtain feedback, and learn more about opportunities to participate in IST Calls under Framework Programme 7 (FP7).