LONDON - Following her admission to the Commonwealth as the 54th member in November last year, Rwanda has gained full member country status of the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO).
The membership will provide the country withyp the opportunity to utilise CTO’s existing networks and capabilities to the maximum, with the ability to shape the organisation’s future through its seat at the CTO Council.
Welcoming Rwanda to the CTO family, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah said, “It is pleasing to note Rwanda taking its rightful place at the CTO Council at a time when the Global ICT community is facing some challenges. Rwanda is a shining example of a nation rising from the ashes of a civil war to a modern day ICT powerhouse.
The speed with which Rwanda has seized the opportunity to imbibe ICTs for socio-economic development has indeed been impressive.”
”The formalisation of the relationship between the CTO and the Republic of Rwanda bodes well not only for Rwanda but also for the entire Commonwealth Africa. It is with great pleasure and anticipation that we look to the future of an ever growing CTO family and fostering closer links between these nations,” he said.
Ignace Gatare, the Minister in the Office of The President in Charge of ICT, who ably shepherded the admission of Rwanda to the CTO, referred to the already existing relationship between the country and the CTO, “For us joining the CTO means far more than becoming a member of yet another international body.
It is an organisation that is close to its members and allows members active participation in the decision making process.”
”We intend to use the network of the CTO to make Rwanda a center of ICT excellence in Africa and to assure that Rwanda’s presence is felt in the Global ICT agenda.
I am positive that the CTO will be an effective platform for a two-way exchange of expertise, technology and resources in Rwanda’s march towards effective use of ICTs for socio-economic development,” he added.
While all Commonwealth countries are considered members of the CTO under its Constitution, only full member countries have the right to appoint a Country Representative to the Council of the CTO and engaging in its governance.
The CTO was a key facilitator in the process of Rwanda seeking membership in the Commonwealth, when it admitted the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) as a member in 2007.
The association has since helped strengthen relationships between CTO and Rwanda.
The CTO has held numerous events and conferences in Commonwealth Africa, including the 3rd Annual e-Gov Africa Forum 2009 in Rwanda, in March 2009. Attended by over 100 hi-profile delegates, including ministers, policy makers, ICT experts and thought leaders from across Africa, the third of the series of the e-Gov events in Africa examined the potentials of ICTs to improve effectiveness and efficiency in governance.
The CTO envisages carrying out a host of activities to give a meaningful value to the relationship including knowledge building research and knowledge sharing events, conferences and training in the near future in Rwanda.