New York, 21 September 2014

Today in New York, President Kagame addressed the 10th Meeting of the United Nations Broadband Commission. Held at the start of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the meeting focused on working to ensure the recognition of broadband and ICT as critical components of the Post 2015 sustainable development framework.

Speaking on the progress of broadband on the continent, President Kagame highlighted the role of Smart Africa in advancing the ICT agenda on the continent:

We have seen significant high level commitment with eight Heads of State serving on the Smart Africa board. We are pushing for a renewed sense of urgency to ensure that several projects currently underway are successful and beneficial to our citizens.”

Smart Africa was established in Kigali with the signing of the Smart Africa Manifesto at the Transform Africa Summit held in October 2013. The Smart Africa Manifesto serves as a framework to ensure ICT remains at the heart of the development agenda in Africa.

The board of the Smart Africa manifesto defined eight priorities including Smart Cities, Data and Measurement for development. ICT Industry Development, Africa Digital Literacy, Smart Africa Scholarship Fund, Smart Africa Green Economy, digital economy, Private Sector and Entrepreneurship to be led by Rwanda, Uganda, Gabon, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Kenya and Mali respectively.

President Kagame presented a plaque to Dr. Ahmadoun Toure whose term as Secretary General of the ITU Broadband Commission is coming to an end for his contribution to advancing ICT globally. Presenting the plaque, President Kagame presented the plaque “in recognition for the great work you have done in service and under the UN and for the citizens of the world.”