Davos, 24 January 2014
On the last day of the World Economic Forum attended an event organized on the role of broadband in sustainable development. Organized by International Telecommunications Union and the Azerbaijan Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies and moderated by Jeffrey Sachs, the event brought together leaders in the sector to answer the question “why broadband should be prioritized in the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.”
With Rwanda’s continuous investment in ICT, President Kagame shared Rwanda’s commitment to the use of ICT for transformation:
“People used to think that broadband is meant for a few people and cannot be accessed by the majority. We have found that with the right investments, we can make it accessible and affordable. People are now able to use ICT for health, education and to access markets for their agricultural products. The results speak for themselves in every part of Africa.”
As co-chair of the Broadband Commission, President Kagame also thanked the broadband commissioners for their dedication to increasing broadband accessibility.
ITU Secretary General, Ahmadou Toure explained the goals of the Broadband Commission as essential to sustainable development
“Our goal is to put broadband at the center of every national agenda. We want to use broadband to achieve millenium development goals and address global challenges including youth unemployment, climate change, and environmental sustainability. We are part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
Reminding those present that ICT must be part of a wider context that includes good governance, President Kagame emphasized the role of ICT in ensuring that citizens have access to information:
“My hope is built on one thing. Giving the majority of our people ICT tools means they will be able to face their challenges.”
President Kagame also added that broadband is an opportunity to share knowledge in a mutually beneficial manner:
“It is important to understand that there is no part of the world that has monopoly of knowledge or best practices. That is the beauty of the globalized society we live in.”
Earlier today, President Kagame began the day with a panel titled “Setting the Global Agenda for Agriculture Transformation” alongside President Mahama of Ganha. The day ended with a World Economic Forum plenary session on emerging markets. The panel discussion included Carlos Ghosn, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault-Nissan Alliance; Economist and NYU Professor, Nouriel Roubini; Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs of Turkey,Ali Babacan; Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Min Zhu; Minister of Economy and Finance of France, Pierre Moscovici.