India's Pan-African network gets Hermes prize

The award was announced by the European Institute of Creative Strategies and Innovation, a think-tank that promotes strategies for innovation and renewal in Europe and worldwide, at meeting held on May 25 in Paris. The Hermes Prize for Innovation 2010 contains a certificate and a statue of Hermes, the messenger of gods in Greek mythology.

The citation describes the e-network as the most ambitious programme of distance education and tele-medicine in Africa even undertaken and hails it as “the first example of a large Project South-South development support.”

A brainchild of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the e-network seeks to bridge the digital divide across the 53-nation African continent and seeks to provide tele-medicine and tele-education.

The project is being shepherded and implemented by state-run Telecommunications of India Limited (TCIL). It also includes setting up a "VVIP" network between the heads of state or government.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will inaugurate the second phase of the Pan-African e-Network Project Monday which will bring another 12 African countries into the ambit of the project. The first phase of the Project, covering 11 countries, was inaugurated by Krishna Feb 26 last year.

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