KIGALI - President Paul Kagame’s ardent push for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) devolvepment recently earned him a continental lifetime award.
The President won the African ICT Lifetime Achievers Award from ForgeAhead, an independent ICT research and consulting across Africa. The award was announced mid this month in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The State Minister of Energy and Communication, Eng Albert Butare picked the award on behalf of the President at a ceremony held recently in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Presenting the Lifetime Award to the journalists yesterday at his office in Kacyiru, Butare said: “The award is an overwhelming gesture, which sends a thrill of challenge to us for its perseverance.”
He said the President emerged a lifetime ICT winner after three juries, with the assistance of KPMG, a global consultancy firm, assessed the secret vote cast by the 23 panel members.
At the same event, Rwanda’s Treatment and Research Aids Centre (TRAC) was awarded two trophies for its use of ICT in health services.
Joseph Gasana of SMS Media Company, which in partnership with MTN helps people in electricity prepaid services to Eletrogaz, also scooped an ICT achiever’s award.
Butare also said Kagame’s ICT broadband connectivity has enabled Rwanda to host the Secretariat of Connect Africa initiative which adopted by last month’s summit in Kigali.
The secretariat will oversee the progress of Connect Africa initiative in recognising the significant role of ICT as a catalyst for realising the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Among the Connect Africa Summit Goals to be overseen by the Rwanda Bureau include the interconnection of all African capitals and major cities with ICT broadband infrastructure by 2012.
Also to be accomplished in the same period is the establishment of an ICT centre of excellence in each sub-region of Africa and connecting all African villages to ICTs including internet access to at least 60 percent of villages.
Also on the agenda is adoption of effective and transparent regulatory practices in each country to help bring down the price of broadband ICT services by 50 per cent.
The bureau was assigned to oversee the take up of every country’s general e-strategy which include cyber-security framework, and deploy at least one transactional e-government other related services.
Butare said President Kagame was mandated to inform his counterparts about the progress of the Connect Africa Goals at each African Union (AU) summit.