ITU

Committed to connecting the world

World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014

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Statement by Mr. François Régis Gatarayiha, Director General, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority, Republic of Rwanda


Your Excellencies,

Heads of Delegations,

Mr. Chaiman,

ITU Elected Officials,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Rwandan Delegation, allow me first to express our gratitude and congratulations to the Government of the United Arab Emirates for hosting this Conference. We recognize the warm welcome and facilitation rendered to us for a perfect stay and convenient and suitable work environment.

Mr. Chairman,

Let me say at the outset that Rwanda has always been a strong believer in the transformative potential of ICTs and broadband in particular.

There is a global shift towards a knowledge-based economy. Broadband offers us the opportunity to leap forward and skip the previous revolutions (agrarian and industrial).

In this sense, broadband is the infrastructure of the future in much the same way that roads and railways were for earlier periods.

The recent joint venture that our Government has entered into with Korea Telecom that aims to build a 4G LTE nationwide network is an example to illustrate this "broadband as a utility" concept.

It is also clear that the 21st Century economies will be characterised by greater innovation and creativity. Both are knowledge intensive and broadband thrives on these two and drives them.

In Rwanda, like in other parts of Africa, there are increasing opportunities from knowledge-intensive sectors like banks, media, education, etc…, that are growing fast. Even other sectors like health, agriculture and services are increasingly IT-dependent.

These are also areas with great potential to create jobs, especially for the youth. Our experience has shown that broadband is both the generator and delivery system of the skills required for the new age. Drivers of 21st century economies are not simply labour, but highly skilled individuals or knowledge workers.

In this sense, broadband may be seen as a new factor of production in this age, one that supplements the traditional factors of production.

I should also add that the digital economy is eco-friendly - an important consideration when we are grappling with the effects of global warming and climate change.

The way forward should be this: as our countries' economies integrate, we should also think of integration in terms of broadband uptake and usage so that ICTs continue to play a significant role in putting this world we live in on a more sustainable path.

Finally, allow me to conclude by recognizing the visionary leadership of Dr. Hamadoun Toure, the synergy and proven commitment of the three ITU Sectors for the transformation of all aspects of society and economy using ICTs as a key pillar for development. We appreciate rightly the approach and the role of the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, Mr. Sanou Brahima, in accompanying Developing Countries to accelerate their transformation into information, knowledge-based society.

Thank you for your kind attention.