President Kagame today in Geneva delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the ITU Telecom World 2009. Also participating at the event were the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Swiss Federal Councilor Moritz Leuenberger and the ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun Touré.
President Kagame spoke on the impact of recent and growing investments in communications technology in Africa and in Rwanda, saying that this was playing a significant role in transforming African countries.
President Kagame noted that since the “Connect Africa Summit” held in Kigali in October 2007, over eight billion US dollars have been invested in communications infrastructure – 70 % of which came from private sources – with over 40 billion US dollars in returns, an indication that “Africa was becoming an integral part of the global economy especially when one considers that most of the noted infrastructure is improving its connectivity to other markets”.
President Kagame pointed out that these investments did not constitute “aid or loans that resulted in national debt traps” but were a result of the ever improving business environment, better policies, enhanced Public Private Partnerships and increased efforts in skills development.
President Kagame called on the Summit participants to commit to ensuring that ICT remains a focus of new economic and social development policies.