KIGALI - Mexican Billionaire and Co-chair of the Broadband Commission, Carlos Slim, has said that governments should ensure that broadband internet reaches people at the grassroots level in order to boost ICT development.
Slim, the world’s richest person according to Forbes Magazine, made the remarks, yesterday, while speaking at end of the two-day Broadband Commission Meeting in Kigali.
“Broadband internet is the most important tool in breaking all communication barriers involved in reaching out to the people at the grassroots levels,” he said.
Slim emphasised that countries should put in place public digital libraries and internet hot spots in areas where internet can be accessed by all. He urged the private sector to partner with governments to make sure that the broadband service is available to the people.
“Internet connectivity should be availed free to students in schools to allow them to have access to global knowledge,” he said, calling on countries to ensure universal access to broadband internet.
The Minister in the Office of the President in charge of ICT, Ignace Gatare, said that skills development in the areas of ICT should not be ignored because they play a great role in enhancing the use of broadband services.
According to Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director, Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), governments should develop enabling policy and regulatory frameworks at the regional level to ensure that broadband services are implemented.
“There is a need to increase public education campaigns where people are educated on how to access various broadband internet services in the country,” said Andrew Rugege, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Director for Africa.