Addis Ababa, 31 January 2016
The third session of Smart Africa took place in Addis Ababa on this 31st of January 2016. Chaired by HE President Paul Kagame, the Board witnessed the signing of the Host Country Agreement by Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Hon. Louise Mushikiwabo and Dr. Hamadoun Touré, the Executive Secretariat of Smart Africa.
The signing of the Host Country Agreement seals the creation of the Smart Africa Secretariat and its Headquarters in Kigali. Commenting on the signing of the event, Dr. Hamadoun Touré said that the signing of the agreement in just three weeks after the establishment of the office is a testimony of the dynamist, sense of urgency and commitment that founding fathers are placing on Smart Africa for the rapid development of the continent.
While officiating at the opening of the session, President Paul Kagame commended his colleagues for championing their respective flagship initiatives that are positioning Africa for the 4th industrial revolution.
“Africa is on the threshold of a truly connected future. Pooling our efforts and committing to accelerate digital talent development, support innovation, expand and interconnect our broadband networks ably demonstrates that trend,” President Kagame said.
The immediate implementation of One Africa Network is landmark decision taken by the Board, building on the successful experience of the One Network Area of the Northern Corridor of East Africa. Commenting on this milestone, President Macky Sall of Senegal emphasized the significance of One Africa Network as an accelerating factor for Africa’s integration.
The board noted the progress made in operationalizing the Smart Africa Scholarship Fund, thanked the contributors to the Fund and received pledges of all the remaining members.
The Board of Smart Africa is composed of the Heads of States of 11 Member States and Heads of ITU and African Union Commission. The session in Addis was attended by Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita of Mali, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, Rock Marc Kabore of Burkina Faso and Edward Ssekandi, Vice President of Uganda. Also represented were the AUC, ITU, UNECA and AfDB.
About Smart Africa
Headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda – Smart Africa brings together African governments, the private sector, international organizations and academia to promote and ensure affordable access to broadband and ICTs in general, ushering Africa into the knowledge economy. Current members of Smart Africa include Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda; as well as AU Commission, ITU, NEPAD Agency, UNECA, AfDB, the World Bank, GSMA and ICANN.