New York, 18 September
President Kagame this Sunday co-chaired the Broadband Commission under the theme “ICTs within the SDG Framework” in New York with Carlos Slim. Also present were Houlin Zhao and Irina Bokova, co-Vice Chairs of the Broadband Commission and David Nabarro, Special Advisor to UN Secretary General on SDGs. The meeting which brought together key players in the telecommunication industry discussed the role of broadband in ensuring access to critical services such as health and education, as well as poverty eradication.
In his remarks, President Kagame called on members of the Broadband Commission to continue ensuring opportunities created by broadband connectivity reach everyone, emphasizing the need for partner developing countries to re-energize their efforts in order to bridge the existing digital divide:
“We have seen the numbers. More than half the world’s population still do not have access to the internet, mostly in the developing world. As developed countries turn their focus to the higher end of these technologies, whether it is the Internet of things, big data and other emerging areas, developing countries have to work harder and smarter to catch up and take advantage of this next phase of the digital revolution.”
President Kagame went on to encourage the commission to remain optimistic on the bridging of the existing digital divide as the world continues to engage with Broadband technologies:
“We must remain ambitious. The Global Goals provide both a useful framework, and also the opportunity to raise our focus beyond connecting people towards innovation, transformation and growth. This requires even bolder thinking and organisation, and high expectations of everyone involved. “
In conclusion, President Kagame invited the Commission and participants of the meeting to Kigali for the Transform Africa Summit, scheduled to take place from October 19 to 21 during which Heads of State and Government, business leaders and others from across the world will gather to support the ongoing efforts to bring about transformation through ICTS.
Established in 2010, the Broadband Commission aims to boost the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda and believes that expanding broadband access in every country is key to accelerating progress and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The Broadband Commission works to define practical ways to ensure that no country is excluded from participating in the global digital economy.