Continental Broadband forum kicks off in Kigali

The Africa edition of broadband forum opens today in Kigali, with more than 50 delegates from over 15 countries converging to look into real world practices and examples required to overcome obstacles in developing Internet access.
Telecom workers install fibre optic cables in Kimihurura last year. (File)
Telecom workers install fibre optic cables in Kimihurura last year. (File)

The Africa edition of  broadband forum opens today in Kigali, with more than 50 delegates from over 15 countries converging to look into real world practices and examples required to overcome obstacles in developing Internet access.

Broadband is Internet access via a variety of high-speed networks.

The participants at the five-day Africa Broadband Forum, who will comprise government officials, heads of industries and civil society from around the continent, will focus on developing a vision and strategy as well as defining relevant programmes that will be important in rolling out broadband in Africa.

The forum will be hosted by the Ministry of Youth and ICT and Intel, an American corporation known for the production of computing devices such as microprocessors.

Organisers of the weeklong forum said it will combine an interactive environment with a special focus on how governments can implement plans to enhance the socio-economic benefits that internet provision services can provide for the continents’ citizens.

Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the minister for youth and ICT, said the forum was key in the country’s ambitions of ensuring that Rwandans have access to broadband and would use the opportunity to explore ways of fast tracking development.

“We are excited to host this conference as we see this as an opportunity to provide a platform for fellow African countries to explore ways of fast-tracking deployments across the continent, sharing best practices and engaging industry experts,” Nsengimana said.

Intel vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa Gordon Graylish said through the forum they hope to increase the capacity of governments in establishing broadband programmes to in turn accelerate the rate of broadband adoption on the continent.

“The goal is to increase the capacity of governments for establishing broadband programmes and utilising Universal Service Funds to increase demand and usage of ICT to accelerate broadband adoption across Africa,” Graylish said.

This will be the 14th broadband forum to be held globally, making Rwanda the fourth country to host the event in Africa after Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

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