Kagame stresses need for investment in universal and affordable broadband to deal with tough times

On 6 June 2022 at 11:09

President Paul Kagame has said that the world is still experiencing tough times where the immediate future is full of uncertainties and risks. The Head of State has however observed that all the challenges can be addressed through investment in universal and affordable broadband.

Kagame made the remarks as he officially opened the Broadband Commission Meeting on Sunday held in Kigali for the third time.

It was attended by Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); Dr. Tawfik Jelassi, the Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Dr. Tawfik Jelassi at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Broadband Commission’s co-chair, Carlos Slim.

The President said that a lot has been done since 2011 even though there is still a long journey to achieve affordable and universal access to broadband.

“We are still living in tough times economically, politically and in terms of global public health. The immediate future is full of uncertainties and risks but one thing is sure. All of the challenges we face can be handled fast, better and more equitably by investing in universal and affordable broadband,” he said.

Kagame also pointed out an example of Rwanda’s milestone of adopting technology, particularly in schools and highlighted that it is a result of partnership.

“As an example, Rwanda has already benefitted from such partnership efforts as a lead country in the Giga initiative, led by ITU and UNICEF. The pilot project in 63 schools has resulted in a quadrupling of capacity and a 55% reduction in cost,” he noted.

Launched in 2019, Giga is a UNICEF-ITU initiative to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity and choice. Giga maps schools’ Internet access in real time, creates models for innovative financing, and supports governments contracting for connectivity.

It is reported that more than 2.9 billion have no access to internet globally.

On Sunday, President Kagame also attended a luncheon hosted by Smart Africa at the Kigali Convention Centre ahead of the Broadband Commission Meeting.

President Kagame has stressed need to invest in universal and affordable broadband to deal with tough times.