URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame is set to chair the new global broadband commission, an initiative that will be put in place by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to implement broadband initiatives.
This was revealed yesterday by the Secretary General of ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Ibrahim Touré, after he paid a courtesy call on President Kagame at Urugwiro Village.
Touré explained that his visit was mainly aimed at discussing the broadband development progress across the continent following the ‘Connect Africa Summit’ that was held in Kigali in 2007.
“I came purposely to brief the President on the Connect Africa results, after which we also discussed the global broadband initiatives that are in place, as well as the one ITU is launching together with UNESCO,” Touré said.
“We are putting together a global broadband commission which we have kindly asked President Kagame to chair and he has accepted”.
The ITU boss went ahead to explain that this commission, also supported by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, will be directly linked to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“As you know, the target for MDGs is 2015. Many people have said that the goals will not be met, but what we are saying is that the situation is not whether we meet the goals or not, but rather what we do to achieve them”.
In this regard, he emphasized that all initiatives are geared towards increasing connectivity, so that services like e-health, e-commerce are facilitated in a bid to achieve sustainable development.
He also commended Rwanda’s ICT progress, highlighting that the country is on track in terms of infrastructure, optical fibre development as well as inter-connectivity to the outside world.
“This is happening because you have visionary leadership with a President who dares to dream and dream big for his country. He is also a practical man who wants things to be done immediately,” Touré said.
“That is why we feel obliged to come and report to him every progress of the practical outcomes of the Connect Africa summit which was organized on his soil”.
According to David Kanamugire, the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of ICT in the Office of the President, the commission will be functional in June this year and it is a global recognition of Kagame’s leadership and dedication to technological advancement.
“The President was happy about the progress shown by states after the summit, especially in regard to efforts in infrastructural development. Rwanda has shown exemplary efforts and other countries are looking up to us as a model nation.” Kanamugire said.
“Participants at the conference had also pledged to raise $55 million and a big percentage of this fund has been raised to facilitate progress of ICT development.”
Kigali Institute of Science and Technology also awarded Dr. Touré with an honorary doctorate for his exemplary role in fostering ICT.