President Kagame in his keynote address to the African Union Summit said that ICT had changed Africa fundamentally in the past decade, particularly in delivery of public and private services, and that the sector will determine Africa’s competitiveness in global business.
President Kagame noted the ongoing construction of national broadband backbone in most African countries was a key asset and stressed the need to interconnect these systems regionally, continentally and to the rest of the world in order to free up infrastructure bottlenecks and benefit from wider business and knowledge networks.
Pointing out that joint efforts by African business and government had resulted in the digital transformation, and that there was already an agreed African agenda strongly supported by the ITU, President Kagame called on leaders to recommit to the implementation of the consensus and to empower the AU Commission and regional bodies to supervise and monitor the task, as well as to leverage ongoing national initiatives.
“The undersea cables that now land on our shores in West, South, North and East Africa bring a world of information and opportunity. But it is we, the leaders in this room, who have to carry these networks over mountains and across deserts; to Africa’s greatest cities and smallest villages; and bring a world of knowledge and prosperity to our citizens.”