ITU Secretary General commends Rwanda’s ICT advancement

The Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Houlin Zhao, on a three-day official visit in Rwanda, has commended the Rwandan Government for efforts invested in promoting the use ICT in speeding the country’s economic transformation.

On the first day of his visit, he toured various government and non-government institutions working in areas of technology capacity building, innovation and projects dealing with ICT development especially the 4G Innovation Center at Carnegie Mellon University – Rwanda and toured the Rwanda’s first innovation hub known as KLab.

Speaking to the press, Mr Zhao noted that he was very impressed by the development of the ICT sector in Rwanda, and its contribution to national development. “President Kagame supports the use of ICT as an enabler to foster the continent’s development,” he said. He encouraged the young generation to embrace the use of ICT.

The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, said that President Kagame had personally played an important role by a substantive support to the different activities of the ITU, where he co-chairs the broadband commission on digital development.

Lilian Uwintwali, the founder of a Kigali-based software development firm MA-HWII, thanked the Government for its role in helping the youth get access to ICT facilities. “KLab is an innovation centre where we are can access offices and use the internet. This instills in us an innovative spirit to create successful businesses,” she observed.

Rwanda is a member of ITU and has recently been re-elected to be part of its Council for 2014-2018 in recognition of the exemplary leadership of President Kagame both at national and global levels 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 ‘Transform Africa Summit’ that spun off the Smart Africa Alliance, a new platform that is shaping the future of ICT for Development in Africa. The next Transform Africa Summit is scheduled for October 29, 2015.

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