"We will support public and private efforts to increase the use of information and communication technologies for development and encourage international organizations to assess the appropriate which they can play."
The transfer of information and communication technologies is an important component of France's foreign aid policy. As is traditionally the case with French development programs, efforts to increase developing countries' access to information and communication technologies have been largely focused on Africa, particularly African Francophone countries.
During the period of 19-21 May 1997, France participated in a conference for francophone information and technology Ministers in Montreal. The conference was held in order to discuss ways in which a greater number of people could profit from information technologies. Discussions also centered around employing new technologies for the economic and social development of francophone countries.
ORSTOM, the French Institute of Scientific Research and Development through Cooperation, is working in association with UNITAR, the UN Institute for Training and Research, on the Inter-Afrique Program. This program seeks to develop internet usage in Africa.
Clearly these efforts indicate France's commitment to increasing the use of information and communications technologies for development. France has also demonstrated a willingness to work with international organizations to achieve this goal.
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