On the sidelines of the ongoing Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, the United Nations Broadband commission also convened to catch up on progress of commission undertakings and how to transform Africa.
President Paul Kagame the chairperson of the commission, Co-Chair Carlos Slim – a global investiment magnet, and the commissions co-Vice Chair Houlin Zhao were all in attendance.
“I am pleased to be joined by my Co-Chair Carlos Slim and our Co-Vice Chair Houlin Zhao. Thank you very much. Indeed, I thank all of you who found the time. Your personal commitment to this important cause is greatly appreciated,” Kagame said.
As the Transform Africa Summit – a flagship event for Smart Africa seeks to accelerate Africa’s Single Digital market, President Kagame told the Broadband commission that in real practice all other digital services, whether in commerce or education or healthcare, operate on top of broadband.
Kagame believes that Africans should synchronise various technologies to deliver broadband of which mobile, Satelite and fibre optic cable are vital in helping propel this venture because Africa’s economic transformation requires broadband infrastructure.
Accessibility and affordability are very crucial to make broadband more effective in Africa and bearing in mind the settlement patterns and geography.
President Kagame who has managed to connect Rwanda massively said it is essential for the growth of wireless services especially satellite-based services and mobile services which are critical for bringing broadband to the most under-served areas.
This will also reinforce Smart Africa’s Internet for All and Education for All initiatives. “Supporting these efforts will help bridge the digital divide in Africa particularly by thoroughly assessing the broadband needs in schools and communities across the African Union.”
It is Kagame’s request that to see that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) together with the African Union Commission and the private sector collaborate to achieve broadband commission targets.
“Ideas drawn from Broadband Commission are critically important and have generated more ideas and debates. We need to keep debating these great ideas but at the end of the day it is up to us to get things done,” said Kagame.
After the Broadband commission meeting, President Kagame asked members to consider extending their stay and participate in the Transform Africa summit.
“For those not able to be with us I want to say that we understand, we know you would have stayed if you had the time. Your presence here is critical. And to everyone once again, I thank you and I wish you a safe journey home,” Kagame said.