from PHYLLIS BIRORI in Kigali, Rwanda
KIGALI – RWANDA has urged the international community to prioritise affordable broadband access, invest in digital skills and promote local content in order to achieve universal connectivity by 2030.
The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, co-chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, has set that target.
Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation, represented Kagame at the commission’s just concluded annual Fall Meeting on Monday (today) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
She noted that despite technology advances, more than 2 billion people globally remain unconnected.
“It’s crucial to prioritize universal and affordable broadband access, coupled with investments in digital skills, and the elements that truly define meaningful connectivity, such as inclusive and localized digital content, accessible hardware, cybersecurity measures, and policies that ensure digital inclusion for all,” Ingabire said.
Rwanda, the East African country, is lauded as a leader in innovation and technology.
The commission’s meeting comes amid the recent announcement by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that 2,6 billion people, or about one-third of the global population, still lack access to the Internet in 2023.
This on a good note is a reduction from the estimated 2,7 billion people offline in 2022.
“Tech is racing ahead and billions of people are being left behind,” Doreen Bogdan-Martin, ITU Secretary-General, said.
She is also the co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.
“Our task is to invest in affordable broadband, digital skills, and everything that makes connectivity meaningful,” Bogdan-Martin.
– CAJ News