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EU will invest €22 million in the Information Society in Latin America

The aim of this project is to improve productivity, efficiency, education and the capacity to innovate taking advantage of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

In conflictive times such as the current global economic crisis, developing ICTs and improving the efficiency of their use are fundamental, due to the potencial of these technologies to increase productivity and improve the coverage of public services such as education, health and government services.

With this objective in mind, three projects to promote access and productive use of ICTs were launched today under the European Union’s €22 million @LIS2 Programme for the term 2009-2012. These projects will be executed by the United Nations Economic Commission forLLatin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Latin American Cooperation for Advanced Networks (CLARA), and the Latin American Telecommunications Regulators Forum (REGULATEL), whose financial contribution, added to the EU funding, amount to €31 million.
@LIS2 will promote the use of ICTs for development and social inclusion. Its three projects will strengthen cooperation between the countries of Latin America and with Europe; they will support the dialogue on political, social, regulatory and technological issues related to the Information Society and they will promote scientific research through the expansion and interconnection of advanced networks between universities and research centres.

The project “Inclusive political dialague and exchange of experiences,” co-financed by the EU (€9 million) and by ECLAC (€3 million), is the biggest cooperation programme undertaken by this regional comission of the United Nations. Its implementation is coordinated by the Information Society Programme of the Division of Production, Productivity and Management with the support from other ECLAC divisions.Its objectives include analyzing and disseminating the best practices and advances in five strategic areas:

* E- Education
* E-Health
* Access and Infrastructure for the e-inclusion
* Productivity, innovation and economic growth.
* E- Government

This way, the project will support the countries of Latin America in the definition and adoption of strategies for the construction of the Information Society, as well as raise awareness of the potential of these technologies. To achieve this objective, the project will promote the implementation and evaluation of the eLAC Regional Action Plan, which the countries of the region have been executing since 2005.

The project “ALICE2 “Latin America Interconnected with Europe 2”, co-financed with €12 million by the EU and with €6 million by the countries of the region , is implemented by CLARA, a non-profit international organization that develops and operates an advanced Internet network established in 2004 to interconnect the countries of the region (RedCLARA). During its first phase (until March 2008), the region was linked to GÉANT2 (the high-speed pan-European research and education network). In this second phase (until mid 2012), CLARA will implement a fiber optic network to stimulate research in Latin America in collaboration with Europe. It will support innovation by strengthening RedCLARA and by the creation and manteinance of research communities working on development issues.

The third project, “Regulatory dialagues,” is being implemented by REGULATEL, with €1 million from the EU and €252,800 from the regulators of the countries of the region.
In order to promote the efforts for harmonization and regulatory integration in Latin America, the project will encourage the application of the best regulatory practices through the exchange of information and experiences among the telecommunication regulators in the region and in Europe. With all these measures, cohesion and social inclusion in the construction of the Information Society will be supported.

More about: ict , internet , latin america , aids , union , european
Translation by Sara Vázquez
on 24/03/2009
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