KIGALI - IT experts from international companies and policy makers are in the country to deliberate on ways of establishing Cloud Computing and development prospects of ICT in Africa.
Cloud Computing is the logical computational resources (data, software) accessible via a computer network through the Internet, rather than from a local computer.
The online service can be offered from a cloud provider or it could be privately owned.
The principle behind Cloud Computing is that any computer connected to the Internet is connected to the same pool of computing power, applications, and files.
Users can store and access personal files such as music, pictures, videos, and bookmarks or play games or do word processing on a remote server rather than physically carrying a storage medium such as a DVD or thumb drive.
The meeting is the twelfth Forum on Telecommunication / ICT Regulation and Partnership in Africa (FTRA) supported by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Speaking to The New Times shortly after the opening, the Minister the President’s Office in charge of ICT, Ignace Gatare, said Cloud Computing will be instrumental in reducing IT costs.
“If a company wants to put up its own IT infrastructure, it becomes expensive, but if the services are put together in one cloud, the services become cheaper,” said Gatare.
The minister explained that the Small and Medium Enterprises that lack resources to put up their own database centres stand to benefit from this arrangement.
He further said that the new technology will help African countries, most of which lack enough resources, to come together and use it.
Gatare noted that Rwanda had already taken the first step towards employing the technology through the establishment of the data centre and the laying of the optic fibre throughout the country.
He promised that the initiative would soon be set up in the country as one way of reducing internet services cost.
According to Brahima Sanou, the Director of Telecommunication Development Bureau in ITU, African countries should come together and establish a common roadmap towards the achievement of this new technology.
In an interview, the Director of Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency, Francois Regis Gatarayiha, said that the three-day meeting will focus on the transition from traditional infrastructure to cloud computing and its benefits and advantages.
Other points of discussion will be on standards, sustainability, security, interoperatibility of various clouds as well as the framework for cloud computing services. These will include data protection, liabilities of cloud host and responsibilities of actors.