AfDB to participate in Rwanda ICT and Innovation Summit
The African Development Bank (AfDB), will participate in “Transform Africa 2013 Summit” to be hosted by the government of Rwanda from 28 to 31 October in Kigali. This pan African ICT event will bring together more than one thousand participants from Africa and beyond, representing various sectors including governments, business and the youth to discuss the future of broadband on the continent.
In Kigali the AfDB will launch its report titled "Connecting Africa: An Assessment of Progress towards the Connect Africa Summit Goals”. In addition, the AfDB’s Vice-President for Infrastructure, Gilbert Mbesherubusa, will make a keynote statement.
"The Transform Africa Summit builds on the success of the Connect Africa Summit. It is important because not only does it take discussions forward as to the use Africa must make of ICT, but because it has a convening power. Many countries will be present ensuring that no one is excluded from the discussions and that all can learn from one another's experience," says Mbesherubusa.
“Transform Africa Summit” will see the launch of 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. This network will cover 95 per cent of the population within three years.
This rapid deployment of high-speed broadband capability in Rwanda will accelerate the development of the country’s ICT sector, create jobs, as well as help facilitate social and economic progress. Based on recent reports published by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 95 per cent broadband penetration will translate into a 10 to 13 per cent boost in GDP growth for Rwanda.
The first day of the Summit will review what Africa has achieved in ICT since the influential Connect Africa Summit of 2007, hosted exactly six years earlier by the Government of Rwanda. The summit will also feature five key events including the Leaders’ Summit, the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Extravaganza, an international tech exhibition and Continental Awards.
Rwanda’s minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, said that the meeting is a prime opportunity for leaders in both public and private sectors to explore ways that next generation technology can drive social and economic transformation across the African continent.
“At Transform Africa, discussion will focus on how African countries can maximize the opportunities of the Digital Economy, harnessing its power to drive innovation, deliver services, as well as create jobs for young people," says Nsengimana.
“Once infrastructure is in place, it is paramount that we all play our part in driving investments in content development and service delivery,” says Valentine Rugwabiza, CEO of Rwanda Development Board.
The summit is co-organized by the government of Rwanda and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU); while the AfDB has provided financial support to ensure its success, and in keep with the Bank’s commitment to the development of ICTs in Africa.