Kigali, 3 October 2014

President Kagame has said that digital innovation has leveled the playing field, making it easy for anyone from anywhere can compete in the global economy. Speaking at an interactive session during the conclusion of the Smart Rwanda conference, President Kagame said digital innovation means ideas do not have borders and therefore countries cannot be landlocked:

“We are making good progress. We should not take things for granted, we should continue working hard. Our thinking is about crossing borders while benefiting others and from others. We may act Rwandan but we think Africa and beyond.”

President Kagame emphasized that broadband should be treated like a utility that should be availed and made affordable to as many people as possible and that Rwanda was looking for ways to increase affordability and ensure benefits.

Encouraging young people to take up entrepreneurial roles in the field on digital innovation, President Kagame said:

“An entrepreneur is one that does not alleviate poverty but creates wealth because alleviating poverty is like treating a patient who stays in a condition between critical and death. There is a saying that this is Africa’s century. The question is why wasn’t last century Africa’s century? I believe it has always been Africa’s day. It’s up to Africans to seize the day and make our aspirations a reality.”

President Kagame concluded by paying tribute to Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, who will soon be coming to the conclusion of his tenure, for his work as ITU Secretary General:

“You have made every African proud.”