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Digital cooperation needs to go beyond access to broadband – Kagame

By IGIHE
On 20 September 2021 at 08:26

President Paul Kagame has said that digital cooperation needs to go beyond access to broadband to close the gap in the adoption and use of affordable devices and services.

He made the observation on Sunday 19th September 2021 as he chaired the annual meeting of the Broadband Commission.

The virtual meeting was also attended by the co-chair of the commission, Carlos Slim along with co-vice chairs Houlin Zhao and Audrey Azoulay.

This year’s meeting is themed ‘People-centered Approaches to Universal Broadband’.

Kagame who is also the chairperson of the commission stressed that digital cooperation should not be limited to broadband access.

“Before we begin, let me just make brief comments. The first is that digital cooperation needs to go beyond access to broadband. We also need to close the gap in the adoption and use of affordable devices and services, in accessible content, and in digital literacy,” he said.

“The second is to note the value in multi-stakeholder platforms that complement the work of the Broadband Commission, such as the Edison Alliance. Harmonizing these initiatives would create useful synergies,” added Kagame.

The President also recalled that ‘the strength of the Broadband Commission lies in the diversity of the perspectives that our Commissioners bring to the table’.

He concluded his remarks highlighting that the Broadband Commission should continue to be a forum to find consensus and speed up progress towards digital transformation.

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development was established in May 2010 as a joint initiative by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the aim of boosting the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda, and expanding broadband access in every country as key to accelerating progress towards national and international development targets.

The Commission was renamed the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, following the adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015.

Led by President Paul Kagame and Carlos Slim Helù of Mexico, it is co-chaired by ITU’s Secretary-General Houlin Zhao and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

It is comprised of over 50 Commissioners who represent a cross-cutting group of top CEO and industry leaders, senior policy-makers and government representatives, and experts from international agencies, academia and organizations concerned with development.

President Paul Kagame has said that digital cooperation needs to go beyond access to broadband.

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