ICT an essential public utility—Kagame

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 18 January 2017 saa 03:32
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President Paul Kagame is in Davos, Switzerland where he joined other leaders and top global business executives for this year’s World Economic Forum annual meeting.

In his first engagement at WEF, President Kagame gave special remarks at a workshop organized under the theme: “Innovations to Connect the Unconnected”, co-hosted by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum, moderated by Lauren Woodman, CEO of NetHope USA. Irina Georgieva Bokova, Director General, UNESCO and Zhao Houlin, Secretary General of the ITU also gave welcome remarks.

In his remarks, President Kagame pointed out that ICTs and digital connectivity has been proven to be an essential public utility and development tool and, not a luxury.

“Without fast and affordable internet access, there are few pathways from poverty to prosperity in the 21st century. By 2020, Rwanda aims to have universal access to broadband and to embed ICTs into all aspects of public service delivery. Progress in Rwanda and other countries on the continent is possible with the right policies, investments and focus.”

The workshop included four simultaneous breakout sessions on: financing ICT connectivity infrastructure; last mile technologies and innovative business models; country partnership models; and the gender digital divide, with the aim of achieving consensus on an action agenda to accelerate digital development in 2017.

The three-day forum is organized under the theme: “Responsive and Responsible Leadership,” with a focus on improving global cooperation and collaboration.