Rwanda’s minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana has been appointed as the Chair of World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum, a multi-stakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He was appointed by Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) during the ongoing WSIS 2017 summit which started on June 12 and ends on June 16, in Geneva, Switzerland.
It is the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.
Speaking to The New Times Tuesday, the minister said his appointment reaffirms Rwanda’s position in ICT for development and country’s commitment.
“Chairing the WSIS Forum strengthens Rwanda's leadership at global level on ICT for development matters. It is a contribution that Rwanda is making to ITU and the world in shaping a better future for humanity,” he said.
“It is also a vote of confidence in Rwanda and President Paul Kagame's global leadership and strong commitment to leverage the power of technology and innovation for inclusive social economic development, in Rwanda, Africa and globally.”
As a Chair of WSIS, Nsengimana noted that he will ensure that the Forum runs smoothly and produces expected outcomes, concrete actions and results that contribute to driving SDGs through use of ICT.
The summit is jointly organised by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD.
It provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies.
According to the minister, the WSIS Forum serves as a key forum for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the SDGs and targets, with due regard to the global mechanism for follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Rwanda currently hosts the SDG Centre for Africa, facilitating faster progress towards by mobilising resources and enabling partnerships and exchanges of best practices.
This, minister Nsengimana said is an indicator of Rwanda’s efforts to drive SDGs, adding that to be able to accelerate the global agenda goals, ICTs have a critical role.
“It is through ICT that we can be able to rapidly achieve these Sustainable Development Goals, and this is because it cuts across all the sectors. Acting as an enabler, ICT can help achieve these goals through facilitating speed and efficiency by lowering the costs of achieving them,” he said.
In Rwanda, he said that a lot has been achieved including extending connectivity, but what remains is to increase the usage of the network which will have significance to economic growth.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is a unique two-phase United Nations (UN) summit that was initiated in order to create an evolving multi- stakeholder platform aimed at addressing the issues raised by information and communication technologies (ICTs) through a structured and inclusive approach at the national, regional and international levels.
The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision, desire and commitment to build a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information.Follow https://twitter.com/Julio_Bizimungu