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Rwanda: We Are Ready for Continental ICT and Innovation Summit, Says Govt
Source: The New Times
Source Date: Monday, October 21, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Thematic Website, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Country: Rwanda
Created: Oct 22, 2013

The Country is ready to host the Transform Africa Summit 2013, a forum aimed at spearheading broadband connectivity across the continent, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Minister for Youth and ICT, said in a statement yesterday.

The four-day high level event, scheduled for October 28-31, will be held under the theme, "The Future Delivered Today". It will focus on devising ways how Africa can leverage broadband to transform communities, governments and the private sector.

Nsengimana noted that the forum was a prime opportunity for leaders in public and private sectors to explore ways that next generation technology can drive social and economic transformation across the African continent.

"At Transform Africa, discussions will focus on how African countries can maximise the opportunities of the digital economy, harnessing its power to drive innovation, deliver services, as well as create jobs for young people," Nsengimana said.

The summit, co-organised by the Government and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), will feature five key events, including the Leaders' Summit, the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Extravaganza, Smart Africa Days, an international tech exhibition, and the Continental Awards.

It will bring together over 1,000 participants from Africa and beyond representing various sectors, including governments, business and the youth, to discuss the future of broadband in Africa.

Nsengimana said a high-speed (4G LTE) broadband network established through an agreement between the Government of Rwanda and KT Corporation, South Korea's largest telecommunications provider, will be launched during the event.

The network will cover 95 per cent of Rwanda within three years.

"The rapid deployment of high-speed broadband capability in Rwanda will accelerate development of the country's ICT sector, create jobs, as well as help facilitate social and economic progress," Nsengimana said.

According to recent reports published by ITU, 95 per cent broadband penetration will translate into a 10 to 13 per cent boost in economic growth for Rwanda.

"Once infrastructure is in place, it is paramount that we all play our part in driving investments in content development and service delivery," said Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, chief executive officer of the Rwanda Development Board.

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