President Paul Kagame has said that gains and progress within broadband rollout ought to serve as a demonstration of what is possible in the sector.
Kagame was speaking in Yale Club in New York, US, where he was co-chairing the 14th Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development yesterday.
President Kagame said that success by the Commission in its various endeavors should serve as a demonstration that it is possible despite not being easy.
“When we succeed we must use this as a demonstration. It is not easy, but possible and we must continue to push forward,” he said.
Commending the Commission for the progress so far, he said that advancements do not happen automatically even where it seems obvious to most though that should not be a determent to stakeholders.
“Things will not just happen even where it may seem obvious to most. This should not discourage us, or deter us,” he said.
The President called on stakeholders to continue to mobilise consumers to adopt broadband as well as find relevant frameworks that contribute to solutions.
“We must continue to mobilise the ordinary consumer and find a framework that enables us to find common solutions,” he said.
Efforts by the Commission remain crucial in ensuring that broadband and information communication and telecommunication receive due attention in the global development agenda, he said.
During the meeting President Kagame co-chaired two working sessions on enabling digital entrepreneurship for 2030 as well as a discussion on current work and future directions.
The session on enabling digital entrepreneurship focused on the potential of the internet to drive inclusive growth as well as drivers for micro, small and medium enterprises.
Among the key drivers for small and medium entrepreneurship include access to affordable technology and connectivity, enhanced digital literacy, access to finance and payment systems, underpinned by sound legal and regulatory frameworks.
The session, among others, examined how governments and private sector players can work together to promote e-Commerce and other technology-based businesses.
Also deliberated at the session was the impact of outdated world trade rules on today’s internet economy.
E-Commerce stakeholders have in the recent past been keen on calling for the reviewing of some trade rules which they say continue to hold back development of the subsector.
While reviewing the current work and tasks ahead, the commission’s working groups shared key outcomes of their activities such as education, the digitalisation scorecard and the digital gender divide.
Yesterday’s meeting also saw the introduction of 10 new commissioners including Amani Abou Zeid, the African Union commissioner for infrastructure and energy, Andrus Ansip, the vice-president in charge of digital single market at the European Commission; and Borje Ekholm, the chief executive of Ericsson.
Other new commissioners include Mukisha Kituyi, the secretary-general of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; Boris Koprivnikar, the deputy prime minister of Slovenia; Patrick Masambu, the secretary-general of International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation; and Stephen Spengler, the the chief executive of INTELSAT.
Achim Steiner, an Administrator at UNDP; Masahiko Tominaga, vice-minister for policy coordination; and Fekitamoeloa Utoikamanu, the UN High Representative for least developed countries, are also among the new commissioners.