At the press launch of the Information Society and Development (ISAD) conference in Pretoria on 2 May 1996, the South African Minister for Post, Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Mr. J. Naidoo, expressed the need to launch a global dialogue between the developing and developed world on the Information Society. Mr. Naidoo, whose country is hosting the ISAD conference on 13-15 May 1996, underlined the need for dialogue between a cross-section of countries with different social, economic and cultural patterns, in order to pursue policies that facilitate the integration of developing countries into the Information Society as partners. The Minister stressed that the opportunity was there to allow the developing countries to catch up through the medium of the Information Society. Developing countries lacked information and communications infrastructure in particular, and the conference would help these countries gain access to investment capital to develop networks for their populations. There was widespread evidence of high demand for information and communications technologies in developing countries, and consumers were willing to pay higher average levels per line than in industrialized countries. Mr. Naidoo felt that the Global Information Society presented developing countries with an opportunity to "leapfrog" stages in their development, but only if they could stand as equal partners with the industrialized nations, particularly when the rules of the Information Society were being established.