President Paul Kagame, has called on the world to recognise the important link between broadband technology and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
Kagame, made the remarks, yesterday, at the first meeting of the recently launched Broadband Commission for Digital Development held at the International Telecommunication Union headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland which he co-chaired with Honorary Lifetime Chairman of Grupo Carso, Mr. Carlos Slim.
He challenged the newly formed commission to address the pressing issue of coming up with effective recommendations on how to capitalize on progress already made, make it replicable and far reaching so that citizens all over the world are better connected.
“I think we will all agree that ICTs and Broadband in particular, cannot be an end in themselves - we want fast and efficient communication as solutions to fast track socio-economic transformation in our societies,” Kagame said.
“This is why the link between Broadband and delivering on millennium development goals is so important.”
Dr. Hamadoun Toure, who serves as vice- chair of the commission urged all governments to view broadband as part of their ‘basic national infrastructure’.
“In the 21st century, affordable, ubiquitous broadband networks will be as critical to social and economic prosperity as networks like transport, water and power,” he said.
“Not only does broadband deliver benefits across every sector of society, but it also helps promote social and economic development, and will be key in helping us get the Millennium Development Goals back on track,” Toure said.
The commission which is comprised of some 30 commissioners representative of varying sectors including technology, business and social sectors adopted 10 written recommendations to fast track the deployment of broadband infrastructure globally.
In his closing remarks to the meeting, President Kagame thanked the commissioners for their contribution in making the recommendations.
“The combined knowledge, experiences and commitment of members in this room demonstrates that we have what it takes to make the goal of universal broadband access, and the benefits this offers to the world’s people, attainable,” Kagame said.
“There is no doubt, that using Broadband to unleash peoples’ full potential is an economic imperative for attaining an inclusive and prosperous global economic society.”
The recommendations adopted during the meeting will be compiled into a final report that will be presented to the UN Secretary General, September 19, ahead of the UN General Assembly in New York.