ITU Secretary-General visits Rwanda

The Secretary-General of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Houlin Zhao, has arrived in Rwanda for a three-day visit.

It is his first official visit to Africa after taking over the leadership of the Union on January 1st, 2015, replacing Dr. Hamadoun Toure. The visit aims to strengthen the already excellent relationship between Rwanda and ITU.

During the three-day visit, the Secretary-General will meet Rwandan Leaders and visit various institutions working in areas of technology capacity building, innovation and ICT sector development.

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, described the visit of the newly-elected ITU Secretary General as a testimony of excellent collaboration between Rwanda and ITU. Rwanda is a member of ITU and has recently been re-elected a member of its Council for 2014-2018 in recognition of the leadership of H.E. Paul Kagame both at national and global level in matters of ICT for Development.

In 2007 and 2013, Rwanda co-hosted with ITU the Connect Africa Summit which resulted into more than $70 billion investment in broadband infrastructure in Africa over the five years that followed the conference. In 2013, Rwanda hosted the TransformAfrica Summit that spun off the Smart Africa Alliance, a new platform that is shaping the future of ICT for Development in Africa. The next TransformAfrica Summit is scheduled for October 29, 2015.

Houlin Zhao was elected on 23 October 2014 as the 19th Secretary-General of the ITU. His four-year mandate started on 1 January 2015. 

Born in 1950 in Jiangsu, China, Mr Zhao graduated from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and holds an MSc in Telematics from the University of Essex in the UK.

From 2006 to 2014, he served as ITU Deputy Secretary-General, supporting the work of the Secretary-General, principally in terms of day-to-day management, including human resources, financial administration, improving efficiency, and working to help broaden ITU's membership, particularly in terms of academic institutions.

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