Expanding Africa's Broadband Capacity - African Leaders to meet in Kigali

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Some 500 participants are expected to attend the Connect Africa Leaders’ Summit, to be held at Kigali’s Serena Hotel on 29 and 30 October.

The main goal of the Summit is to help bring connectivity to Africa and promote "Connect Africa", a new partnership that seeks to expand the ICT infrastructure of the continent, especially broadband Internet, to attract investment needed for employment and economic growth.

Participants include the patrons of the initiative, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Ghana’s President John Kufuor, who is also the African Union Chairman. Other high-level participants include International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré; African Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konaré; African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka; and Intel Corporation Chairman Craig Barrett, who is also the Chair of the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development. World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick will make a contribution by video link. The Presidents of several African nations are expected to participate.

The event will also bring together government Ministers, CEOs and senior executives of global and African IT companies, leaders from civil society and heads of international and regional development banks. Industry leaders, including Cisco, GSM Association, Ericsson, Huawei, British Telecom, Qualcomm, NTT DoCoMo, Neustar, Safaricom, Nokia-Siemens and Microsoft, will attend and announce new initiatives to help bring connectivity to Africa.

The Summit sessions are designed for television to encourage interactive participation, and key sessions will be moderated by Stephen Cole, a renowned TV anchor with Al Jazeera International. The event’s press conferences will be webcast live, and time slots for telephone interviews with prominent participants will be allocated for those journalists who cannot attend.

The event is organized by the International Telecommunication Union, the African Union, the World Bank Group and the Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in partnership with the African Development Bank, the African Telecommunication Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Global Digital Solidarity Fund.