President Paul Kagame giving his acceptance speech
after winning in the Policy category at
the World Technology awards in New York.
BY FELLY KIMENYI
NEW YORK - President Paul Kagame was on Thursday
announced winner of a prestigious award by
the World Technology Network (WTN),
according to a release from the Office of the President.
WTN is a global think tank aimed at
bringing important emerging technologies of all types into reality.
The Head of State was winner in
the Policy category in which he had been
nominated alongside US President Barack Obama
and other renowned personalities.
Winners are individuals and organizations recognized
by peers as using technology with great potential
to have significant impact on society and nations.
"President Kagame acknowledged
the World Technology Network for the recognition
and thanked Rwanda for continued efforts in
demystifying and deploying technology
in order to help even the poorest of the poor
to improve lives," reads the release.
Some of the policies President Kagame is
most likely to have been recognised for
include the One Laptop Per Child Programme,
an initiative aimed at encouraging
ICT usage amongst young children.
Meanwhile during his earlier address to the summit,
H E Paul Kagame defined ICT as a way for nations
to prepare, upgrade and improve their own processes,
and to link the poorest and most disenfranchised
among them to global networks of productivity.
"If an aspect of great strategy is daring to accomplish
the improbable, then technology has a role to play
in shaping great strategy for poor nations,"
he told the WTN members.
Describing how communication technology has evolved
in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade,
H E Paul Kagame said that between 1995 and 2005,
over $25billion was invested in ICT.
"African mobile phone companies have become
regional and even global players – something that
our continent has not been known for in the past,"
remarked the President.
"Markets across the continent have opened,
competition has intensified, and Africa has become
the fastest-growing mobile phone market in the world."
The President also touched on the challenges that
the continent remains faced with,
paramount among all, rolling out
broadband infrastructure to connect the continent.
"High-speed Internet penetration rates
across Africa are still too low,
and in this respect,
we still live and work on the periphery."
He emphasised Rwanda's commitment to
realizing the great potential of science
and technology, especially information
and communications technology.
"We have systematically invested in
a foundation to adopt, develop and utilize technology
in Education, Healthcare, Government,
and the Private Sector," he told the participants.
Other efforts by the Rwanda Government
to promote ICT in the country as described
by the President include putting in place
an institutional framework for developing
and implementing the set ICT vision.
BY FELLY KIMENYI
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