NEW YORK - President Paul Kagame was on Thursday announced winner of a prestigious award by the World Technology Network (WTN), according to a release from the Office of the President.
WTN is a global think tank aimed at bringing important emerging technologies of all types into reality.
The Head of State was winner in the Policy category in which he had been nominated alongside US President Barack Obama and other renowned personalities.
Winners are individuals and organizations recognized by peers as using technology with great potential to have significant impact on society and nations.
“President Kagame acknowledged the World Technology Network for the recognition and thanked Rwanda for continued efforts in demystifying and deploying technology in order to help even the poorest of the poor to improve lives,” reads the release.
Some of the policies President Kagame is most likely to have been recognised for include the One Laptop Per Child Programme, an initiative aimed at encouraging ICT usage amongst young children.
Meanwhile during his earlier address to the summit, Kagame defined ICT as a way for nations to prepare, upgrade and improve their own processes, and to link the poorest and most disenfranchised among them to global networks of productivity.
“If an aspect of great strategy is daring to accomplish the improbable, then technology has a role to play in shaping great strategy for poor nations,” he told the WTN members.
Describing how communication technology has evolved in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, President Kagame said that between 1995 and 2005, over $25billion was invested in ICT.
“African mobile phone companies have become regional and even global players – something that our continent has not been known for in the past,” remarked the President.
“Markets across the continent have opened, competition has intensified, and Africa has become the fastest-growing mobile phone market in the world.”
The President also touched on the challenges that the continent remains faced with, paramount among all, rolling out broadband infrastructure to connect the continent.
“High-speed Internet penetration rates across Africa are still too low, and in this respect, we still live and work on the periphery.”
He emphasised Rwanda’s commitment to realizing the great potential of science and technology, especially information and communications technology.
“We have systematically invested in a foundation to adopt, develop and utilize technology in Education, Healthcare, Government, and the Private Sector,” he told the participants.
Other efforts by the Rwanda Government to promote ICT in the country as described by the President include putting in place an institutional framework for developing and implementing the set ICT vision.