ON Sunday, President Paul Kagame, co-chair of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development along with co-chair Carlos Slim, presented the Declaration of Broadband Inclusion for All and Final Report, to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in New York.
The report called on the UN member states to own the document and integrate its recommendations into mainstream development activities.
The availability of timely information is often the difference between poverty and wealth creation. A farmer in the village, who isn’t able to foretell climate patterns or doesn’t understand what the end consumer is looking for, will not be able to gear their production to cater for these external factors. A student who isn’t able to use search engines for research, is deprived of the massive volumes of information available on the internet.
The richest nations in the world are the same ones that have the greatest incidences of Broadband Internet, while the developing nations are often the ones with the slowest connections speeds. While not ignoring the other factors that influence poverty in these nations, one must acknowledge that the Internet, and broadband connectivity is an essential part of today’s and tomorrow’s economy, and the countries lagging in connectivity shall lag even further, while the rest of the world moves forward.
The Government has realized that ICT is one of the tools to fight poverty, therefore, investing in broadband Internet and fibre optic connectivity. While such an investment is costly, it should be supported worldwide since the impact it has on people’s lives is remarkable.