African states urged to emulate Rwanda on ICT

KAMPALA - The ongoing African Union (AU) Summit in Kampala has called on African leaders to emulate President Paul Kagame’s strong stand in promoting Information Communication Technology.

KAMPALA - The ongoing African Union (AU) Summit in Kampala has called on African leaders to emulate President Paul Kagame’s strong stand in promoting Information Communication Technology.

In a press conference held yesterday, the AU Commissioner for human resources, science and technology, Jean-Pierre Ezin, said that the ICT sector is still lagging behind due to the low attention leaders have given it.

“Rwanda is an example for Africa in this domain and this is because of the personal commitment of President Paul Kagame to having policies on scientific research, and those on developing Rwanda through science and technology,” he told reporters yesterday.

“This commitment should be emulated by all the Presidents because this is all they need. It should not be through words and promises, they should do it concretely.”

Ezin expressed disappointment for some leaders who had earlier promised to have part of their national incomes spent on developing the sector but that they had failed to live up to their promises.

“At the moment we are pushing them to invest more in research,” he added.

On peace and security, the AU Chairperson, Jean Ping, hailed the Rwandan peacekeeping force in the Sudanese troubled region of Darfur but added that their operations were still affected by a mandate that does not allow them to defend themselves.

He added that although the mandate allows them to only protect the civilians but not to attack, there should be a chance for the forces to act in self-defence when attacked.

“This is a handicap, if you are attacked, you have to defend yourself,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ping yesterday announced that Guinea Bissau had promised to send troops to Somalia to beef up security there currently mounted by Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers.

Prime Minister Bernard Makuza arrived yesterday in Kampala where he will represent President Paul Kagame at the 15th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government on Sunday.

The summit continues today with the 22nd summit of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation committee (HSGOC).

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