Presiding over the launch of GESCI as an international organisation were those who have been with GESCI since its inception and others such as the Finnish Ambassador to Kenya Sofie Emmesberger, and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communication Dr. Ndemo, who warmly welcomed GESCI to Kenya and congratulated GESCI on its momentous achievement.
GESCI’s Chairman Brendan Tuohy opened the launch, providing a brief historical account of GESCI’s journey from an idea at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003 and its official launch in 2005, right up to its establishment as an INGO in Kenya.
Mr Tuohy gave special thanks to Irish Aid for their founding support for GESCI and their continued encouragement since GESCI’s relocation to Nairobi.
Finnish Ambassador to Kenya Sofie Emmesberger and the Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of Sweden Bjorn Haggmark congratulated GESCI on its new status and the associated privileges it will bring to GESCI. Both agreed that GESCI’s mandate is well aligned with Finnish and Swedish development cooperation and they wished GESCI continued success on the African continent.
Jyrki Pulkkinen, former GESCI CEO and Senior Adviser Department for Development Policy Finland offered the audience insights into the challenge of knowledge society development in Africa, its critical importance to socio-economic development and how GESCI in partnership with African governments is playing a pivotal role in laying the foundation for knowledge society development across education, higher education and science and technology systems.
GESCI’s new CEO Jerome Morrissey observed that he is taking the GESCI helm at a very exciting time now that GESCI has been awarded international status. Mr. Morrissey looks forward he said, to working with all of GESCI’s partners and actors across Africa as GESCI continues to fulfil its mission.
Finally, the Permanent Secretary of Information and Communications Dr. Ndemo officially welcomed GESCI to Kenya and expressed the Kenyan government’s desire to continue to work closely with GESCI. Dr. Ndemo stressed the important role that Africa itself can play in its own development and how ICT can impact on the lives of all Africans and especially those living in rural areas.
By Niamh Brannigan
See pictures of the launch here