Kigali, 21 October 2015
President Kagame today delivered a Keynote Address at the Transform Africa Summit that has been taking place in Kigali for the last three days. The Summit brought together high ranking African Government officials, over 1500 local, regional and international participants including Broadband Commissioners, Heads of Smart Africa Founding Organizations, private sector and young innovators to dialogue on technology solutions for Africa’s transformation and build partnerships.
In his address, President Kagame encouraged Africans to invest sufficiently in ICT, at least in terms of focus and attention:
“Investments in ICTs is essential in taking any country to the next level of productivity and efficiency. Investing in ICTs is not at the expense of other sectors, investing in ICTs results in benefits for every sector and the earlier you start the better. We can only have ourselves to blame if we don’t invest sufficiently at least in terms of focus and attention We have people on our continent that have sufficient knowledge and desire to make sure that Africa develops. Results will come from what we do. Main task is to collaborate and get results as fast as we can.”
Speaking alongside other African leaders, including Prime Ministers of Uganda and Mali; and ICT Ministers of Gabon, Kenya, South Sudan and Angola on a panel, President Kagame pointed out that placing ICT at the core of the African transformation agenda is sufficient to ensure that Africa is never again left behind.
“Africa’s digital revolution should be a revolution in its real sense, not just good words. Our aim is to unleash unexploited talent we know exists on our continent, particularly among youth. Curiosity, responsibility and hard work, is essential if we are to become our best selves and compete effectively. It doesn’t mean anything will be easy. The existence of technology doesn’t automatically change lives. We can develop our human capital and productivity, using methods that are taken for granted elsewhere. Africa can no longer be excluded from globalization.”
President Kagame reminded that technology is not just about gadgets, but results for citizens because it can transform the lives of people, and just like it is with women’s empowerment, ICT cuts across all departments and portfolios.
President Kagame led the African leaders in attendance in a tour of the African ICT exhibition before chairing the Smart Africa Board Meeting.