Rwanda readies for continental ICT and Innovation Summit
By BiztechAfrica – Oct. 25, 2013, 5:54 a.m.
Rwanda will host the Transform Africa 2013 Summit from 28 to 31 October 2013. This pan African ICT and ICT for development event bring together more than one thousand participants from Africa and beyond representing various sectors including governments, business and the youth to discuss the future of broadband in Africa.
Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, said that the summit is a prime opportunity for leaders in both public and private sectors to explore ways that next generation technology can drive social and economic transformation across the African continent.
“At Transform Africa, discussion will focus on how African countries can maximise the opportunities of the Digital Economy, harnessing its power to drive innovation, deliver services, as well as create jobs for young people,” Minister Nsengimana said.
Transform Africa will also see the launch of a high-speed (4G LTE) broadband network, established through an agreement of the Government of Rwanda and KT Corporation (NYSE: KT), South Korea’s largest telecommunications provider. This network will cover 95 per cent of the population within three years.
This rapid deployment of high-speed broadband capability in Rwanda will accelerate development of the country’s ICT sector, create jobs, as well as help facilitate social and economic progress. Based on recent reports published by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 95 per cent broadband penetration will translate into a 10 to 13 per cent boost in GDP growth for Rwanda.
“Once infrastructure is in place, it is paramount that we all play our part in driving investments in content development and service delivery,” said Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board.
The Summit, co-organised by the Government of Rwanda and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will feature five key events, including the Leaders’ Summit, the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Extravaganza, Smart Africa Days an international tech exhibition and the Continental Awards.