Davos, 22 January 2015

President Kagame today chaired the ITU Broadband Commission Meeting held at the World Economic Forum.

Attending his first meeting since his election, the new ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao began by thanking both President Kagame and Carlos Slim for agreeing to renew their role as Co-Chairs of the ITU Broadband Commission.

President Kagame urged commissioners to continue efforts to ensure access to broadband to a larger number of citizens:

“It’s about how we can invest and make it easy for the majority of the citizens of this world to access and be able to use broadband. We have seen in many parts of the world how this has changed lives. The task for the distinguished members of the commission is to continue to grapple with some of these problems and enable us to make the world a better place.”

With members of the ITU Broadband Commission including senior policy makers, industry leaders and government representatives, the commission discussion centered around forging a collaborative approach towards affordable and universal access to broadband.

President Kagame emphasized the importance of the public and private sectors recognizing their common interest:

“People need to say for me to get what I need, others need to get what they need. We will get solutions by working together. What we need to is narrowing the gap that exists, because they can be narrowed through partnerships.”

The broadband commission brings together leaders from the private sector, policy makers, government representatives, international agencies and academia to provide a variety of perspectives with the aim of developing a joint approach to promote broadband for public benefit.

Established in 2010, the commission aims to ensure access to broadband to the world as an integral part of achieving development.

President Kagame ended the day with bilateral meetings with Professor Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Hon. Tony Blair and Hans Vestbeg, CEO of Ericsson.

The Future of the Internet features as a prominent theme throughout this year’s World Economic Forum. This morning, Professor Klaus Schwab launched “The Future of the Internet Initiative.” The initiative brings together leaders from multiple sectors and will serve as an informal platform for global stakeholders to explore how the Internet can best serve humankind. President Kagame joins the initiative as a trustee.

Today’s World Economic Forum sessions concluded with a panel on the Future of the Digital Economy with Erick Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google; Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone; Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook; Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman of the Center for Global Industries; and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. The panel highlighted the importance of access to broadband.

“Access to broadband is the solution. There are no countries with no clever people. With access to broadband, citizens can solve a lot,” Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google said.

For pictures of President Kagame participation at today’s World Economic Forum, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkagame

For video visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hJtWTC4f9Q