Ladies and Gentlemen
Warm greetings from India, Namaskar,
I am happy to be here with you all in this august conference. This brings to us nostalgic memories of WTDC-2010 that took place at Hyderabad where India had the privilege to host you four years back. Going through the Development Bureau's reports on activities since 2010, it gives me a great satisfaction to see that the contributions made by each one of you, are taking shape into tangible results through the Hyderabad Action Plan and Hyderabad Declaration.
Broadband as an ecosystem requires support from all quarters to prosper and bloom and to become a vehicle to deliver health, education, governance, trade and commerce in order to achieve sustainable socio-economic growth.
ICT illiteracy is an important factor we need to focus on in order to distribute the fruits of information society to everyone. We know that the mobile revolution has caused wonders but broadband penetration is capable of causing bigger miracles. Innovation has a big role to play. There is a great need to develop applications of relevance to the average user in developing countries; to provide, user interfaces and overcome language barriers. This alone will make broadband services accessible to people with little ICT literacy and people who are physically or otherwise challenged.
In our view, developing strategic partnerships is the mantra to bridge the digital divide. Considering the catalytic nature of ICTs in every developmental activity, every agency with development agenda and all stakeholders including private sector have to be taken on board in ICT initiatives.
India is happy with the positive impact of our PAN AFRICAN Project covering 48 countries with e-health, tele-education services but we will be more satisfied if the network is used more effectively and demands more and more services. Perhaps the other development partners working in the region may consider exploring the other opportunities to enhance the utility of this network with suitable proposals.
We have an ambitious plan to roll out National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aiming to provide optical connectivity to all rural and remote parts of the country. This will reduce the access divide among the urban and rural population in reaping the benefits of broadband service including e-governance, e-health and e-education etc.
In conclusion, India seeks a renewed opportunity to continue to work with ITU as a member of the ITU Council and seeks your support.
India will be happy to work with ITU and its members, for the realization of our common dream to use broadband for building a world free of hunger, poverty and disease.
I wish this Development Conference all success in its deliberations and thank the govt of UAE for their impeccable arrangements and the people of Dubai for being such a gracious hosts.