At least ten African Heads of State are xpected to attend the forthcoming information and communication technology summit in Kigali-Rwanda, on 28 October 2007, to discuss key Information and communication technologies (ICT) related issues for the Africa region.

The expected presidents are Mali's Amadou Toumani Toure, Bingu Wa Mutharika of Malawi, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Tanzania's Jakaya Kikwete, Ismail Omar Guelleh of Dgibouti, Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade, Burkina Faso's Blaise Compaore, Burundian Pierre Nkurunziza and Gambia's Yahya Ajj Jammeh.

The summit called "Connect Africa" will have a practical, results-oriented format, including interactive, multi-stakeholder panel discussions, partnership announcements as well as opportunities for participants to show their ICT development projects to potential donors.

It will also provide a networking platform for leaders from the public, private and financial sectors to meet and forge new partnerships for the future.

Participants will examine key success factors for ICT investment and development and identify areas for collaboration to expand broadband backbone infrastructure and access networks using innovative business and financing models among local and regional institutions.

The new infrastructure investment includes national and regional interconnectivity initiatives, such as internet exchange points and rural connectivity projects according to a statement released by the organizers of the summit.

"The objective of the summit is to provide high speed internet and low-cost connectivity to all regions of the continent in the next five years," said Rwanda ICT minister.

Participants will also discuss developing locally-relevant contents, applications and services and broaden efforts to develop an enabling policy and regulatory environment for investment, including harmonization across regions and sub-regions.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has given his full support to the initiative, spearheaded by the International Telecommunication Union and the Global Alliance for ICT and Development.

The summit will draw more than 500 participants including ministers from Africa and other regions, CEOs and senior executives of global and African ICT companies, heads of international and regional; NGOs and financial institutions.