President Paul Kagame wins World Telecommunication and Information Society Award


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President Paul Kagame has received the 2014 World Telecommunication Information Society Award.

President Paul Kagame received the award alongside President Park Geun-Hye of Korea and Carlos Slim Helu, president of the Carlos Slim Foundation.

The World Telecommunication and Information Society Award is presented by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to individuals who have made exceptional contribution to improving lives of world citizens through ICTs.

“I want to express the sense of honour I feel in receiving this award. I do it in the humblest of ways knowing that this is an award of value that builds on the efforts of all Rwandans that have worked hard and embraced the policies and strategies of our development, that in a big part have been driven by ICT. This is the result of their efforts and progress and working together in our country, and also working notably with ITU that has been very supportive of efforts in Rwanda.  Said President Kagame as he received the 2014 World Telecommunication and Information Society Award in Geneva.

“This is the result of their efforts and progress and working together in our country, and also working notably with ITU that has been very supportive of efforts in Rwanda, “ he added.

President Kagame commended the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun Toure, for having made ICTs and broadband very relevant in the Social Economic transformation of countries and of that and to wider and majority of this world. “ICTs have been made relevant and touched people’s lives because of leadership of ITU.”said President Kagame

Welcoming the laureates to the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day ceremony, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “Our distinguished laureates this year are among the greatest champions of ICT in the world. They have supported our work with tremendous zeal, and together we have accomplished a lot – particularly in highlighting the key role ICTs play in the global economy as well as in leveraging sustainable development.”

Dr Toure also called for broadband to be a central element of the post-2015 development agenda.He highlighted the increased investment in the ICT sector in Africa and noted that since the 2007 Connect Africa Summit in Kigali, the private sector had invested $70 billion in Africa. “One example is in 2007 there was no undersea cable connecting the Cape to Cairo, now we have four,” Dr Toure said.

President Kagame, who co-chairs the UN Broadband Commission with Mexican mogul Carlos Slim Helu, restated the importance of public-private partnerships in developing the ICT sector.

He pointed out that it was a win-win situation and that no one entity can do everything on its own.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2014 marks the 149th anniversary of the establishment of ITU, which was founded in Paris on 17 May 1865, however this year it was marked on 16th May since the 17th of May fell on a weekend. The theme for this year, ‘Broadband for Sustainable Development’ brings attention to the catalytic role of ICTs in securing smart solutions to achieve economic growth, social inclusion and environmental balance – the three pillars of sustainable development in the post-2015 era.

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