Africa on the Threshold of Connected Future – President Kagame

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has said that the African continent is in the process of having a connected future with the ongoing pooling of efforts and resources.

The President made the remarks, Sunday, while chairing the third Smart Africa board meeting on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The meeting was attended by Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita of Mali, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, Rock Marc Kabore of Burkina Faso and Edward Ssekandi, vice-president of Uganda.

Kagame said the continent had already started out the journey towards having an integrated continent through initiatives such as broadband infrastructure and One Africa Network.

“Africa is on the threshold of a truly connected future. Pooling our efforts and committing to accelerate digital talent development, support innovation, expand and interconnect our broadband networks ably demonstrates that trend,” Kagame said.

Among the initiatives, the president noted were playing a role in connecting the continent was the One Area Network that makes it possible for citizens of Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda enjoy domestic calling rates from anywhere in the Northern Corridor Region.

“One Area Network has been a win-win for governments and the private sector, but most importantly, for the people,” Kagame said.

President Kagame commended fellow African leaders present for championing their respective flagship initiatives that are positioning Africa for the 4th industrial revolution.

Building on the success and experience of the One Network Area executed by the four member Northern Corridor countries of East Africa, the board took the decision to implement One Africa Network a move that will see calling rates across the entire continent reduce drastically.

At the meeting, President Kagame and board members present witnessed the signing of the Host Country Agreement by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo and Dr Hamadoun Touré, the executive secretary of Smart Africa.

Kigali was last year selected as the host of the Smart Africa Secretariat that is headed by the former International Telecommunications Union Secretary General, Dr Toure.

The agreement, signed Sunday, seals the creation of the Smart Africa Secretariat with its headquarters in Kigali.

Smart Africa has multiple flagship activities ranging from ICT industry development and smart cities to youth innovation, and job creation and digital economy to green economy and digital literacy.

The secretariat will also lead the pursuit of goals set out during last year’s Transform Africa Summit, including an ambitious commitment to mobilise over $300 billion worth of investments in ICT sector on the continent by 2020.

Source: New Times Rwanda

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