President Paul Kagame says Rwanda’s growth has been largely due to the use of ICTs in implementation of national programs.

The country has expereinced an average 8% growth over the past decade.

“We have placed ICTs at the center of our education and development programs,” Kagame said during the 19th Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, South Korea.

Due to greater access to ICTs, the country has seen progress in governance, education, agriculture, health, business and infrastructure.

“In an increasingly integrated and borderless world, capacities for utilisations and innovation have to be built at regional and global levels and we continue to engage in these efforts,” he said.

Rwanda hosts the East Africa Commission for science and technology, partnering with US’s Carnegie Mellon University to establish an ICT center of excellence to provide world class training to Rwandans and the regions.

Twenty two pioneer graduates at the center in July received their Masters of Science in Information technology.

Rwanda’s ambitious development agenda, Vision 2020, pushes for a knowledge-based economy, with global initiatives to enhance transformative impact through digital technology.

“We, in developing countries, have seen the immense opportunities of a connected and borderless world,” Kagame said. “Our collective aspiration is to further extend these possibilities to all of mankind.”

 

Kagame co-chairs the Broadband Commission for Digital Development a joint initiative by ITU and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

During the conference, he said the world is heading into a future where ICTs will fuel economic growth through deeper financial inclusion, innovation, ensuring food security, job creation for the youths and women empowerment.

At the conference, Kagame campained for Rwanda, beating Zambia and Egypt, for membership on the ITU Council, 2015-2018, an opportunity to contribute to global ICT policies.

Meanwhile, Kagame met and discussed with S. Korean President Park Geun-hye. They discussed cooperation in ICT, housing, skills development, rural development and homegrown initiatives to promote self reliance.

President Park promised to help Rwanda’s vision of becoming an IT hub.

Kagame also visited headquarters of Korea Telecom (KTcorp) and met its chairman Chang-Gyu Hwang.

Korea Telecom has installed a $100m 3,000km fibre optic backbone for high-speed broadband network to achieve goals in ICT sector in Rwanda.

The landlocked country intends to cover 98% of the country with 4G LTE internet by 2017.

By Patrick Bigabo