Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane is the Director of the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) since August 2015. IDEP is a pan-African institution created in 1962 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, whose primary mandate is to accompany and assist newly independent African countries, to strengthen the capacities of their human resources, a precondition to ensure the viability of their independence and promoting socio-economic development of Africa. The work IDEP is accomplishing since, is underpinned by a vision of the Institute as a prominent and recognized institution in Africa in the fields of development and strengthening of advanced management capacities and planning for economic development to the benefit of , national, subregional and regional policy makers.
Before that, Ms. Ben Soltane Bounemra headed the North Africa Sub Regional Office of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), based in Rabat, Morocco. The main objective of the Office is to promote the harmonization of national policies in various economic and social development sectors, thus strengthening the integration and consolidation of regional economic communities (RECs). The Office covers 7 countries in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia).
Ms. Ben Soltane was previously the Director of the «Information for Development" Division of the ECA, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This division aimed to promote the use of knowledge, information and communication for economic and social development in Africa.
Among its various achievements, she has coordinated the realization of AISI goals (African Information Society Initiative), by supporting African Member States efforts to formulate ICT policies and to implement the corresponding action plans. This resulted in a very high participation of African countries during both phases of WSIS (World Summit on Information Society) (Geneva 2003, Tunis 2005). She has consolidated a network of partners interested in ICT in Africa and mobilized technical and financial resources to move forward in the AISI agenda.
Previously, she was the Chairperson and Director of IRSIT (Institut Régional des Sciences Informatiques et des Télécommunications), a R&D center in Tunisia, in charge of ICT development; there, she had executive responsibilities related to ICT policy , planning, technical implementation, research and human resources management.
She has participated in national and international activities related to scientific research and ICT. During this period, she participated to various committees in charge of the development of national and regional policies in the field of telecommunications and computer science. She was also advisor to the European Commission for the selection of research proposals on ICT.
From 1992 to 1995, she has been the Director of the "Telecommunications and Networks" Department in IRSIT, in charge of multimedia, networking, and standardization. She was also selected as a member of the High Level Working Group, which was created upon the request of the ECA Conference of Ministers, in order to prepare the AISI. This initiative set out the plan for the entering of Africa in the era of information and the use of ICT for development. AISI is the basis of the ECA work program in the field of information and communication technology.
Ms. Ben Soltane has been involved in initiatives aiming to develop bilingual ICT tools, and establishing a national network of research and technology. She taught "Networks" and supervised various research and development projects in Tunisia. She was president of the Technical Committee of Standardization for information technology, of Tunisia.
Before that, she was an international expert on ICT standardisation. She chaired a group of experts on information technology and management systems, in AFNOR (the standardisation body of France) and has been the representative of AFNOR in international meetings.
Ms. Ben Soltane initiated various publications and she is a member of many professional organizations related to telematics and information technology. She owns a PH.D in Information Systems from the University "Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI - France)" and an engineer degree in computer science from the University of Tunis (Faculty of Sciences of Tunis).