Chairman of the Conference
Secretary General of the ITU and your team
Heads of Delegations
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with great honour that I address this august gathering today on behalf of my Country. Allow me on behalf of my delegation from Kenya, to thank the Government and the people of the United Arab Emirates for the warm welcome and hospitality we continue to enjoy since our arrival in this spectacular city of Dubai.
Mr. Chairman, let me also take this early opportunity to offer my delegation's congratulations for your election as Chair of the Conference. I also wish to acknowledge the hard work of the ITU Secretariat in preparing for this conference. Our special thanks go to Dr. Hamadoun Touré, for his foresight during his eight years at the helm of the ITU, as well as Mr. Brahima Sanou for his passion in the leadership demonstrated in the Development Sector for the last four years leading up to this Conference. My Country looks forward to the fruitful discussions and we expect that Dubai Declaration will help all of us deliver the dream of broadband to the citizens of the world.
Excellencies, this conference is happening at a time when we are experiencing unprecedented growth in ICTs world over. The widespread diffusion of the Internet, mobile telephony and broadband networks all demonstrate how pervasive this technology has become. But how precisely does ICT affect economic growth and the efficiency of firms? More importantly, what are the requisite conditions in making ICTs more effective in enhancing growth and productivity? In my view these are fundamental questions that this conference should address.
Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen ; You will agree with me that ICT has become an integral part of people's lives. However, despite the increased use of ICT, especially in service sectors such as wholesale trade, financial and business services, many countries, particularly those in the developing world are still experiencing numerous challenges that hamper them from fully embracing this technology. It is therefore imperative, that we look at how to further improve understanding of the ways in which ICT affects economic performance, as well as the factors that influence the potential impacts of ICT on the socio-economic growth of countries. It is with this in mind that my Government recognizes ICTs as one of the key drivers in Kenya's Vision 2030 blueprint. Because of my government's commitment, along with joint collaboration with private sector and the local community, today, the ICT sector contributes a great deal to Kenya's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Through innovations, our young people are transforming their lives by creating meaningful employment for many job-seeking college graduates. The mobile money transfer is equally another major revolution in the lives of Kenyans in our times. It is equally an area that has become a source of employment and eased transactions for small and medium enterprises. Mobile telephony has empowered rural populations to undertake various financial and commercial transactions by means of low-end mobile devices using basic mobile services. In order to boost connectivity, my Government has put in place a broadband strategy. This strategy is aimed at incentivizing infrastructure roll out in un-served and underserved areas, and to support capacity building. We envisage that the strategy will extract innovations that can also stimulate the demand and uptake of ICTs in all parts of the country, and provide inclusivity to all including; Persons living with Disabilities (PwDs).
I wish to mention here that it is not all rosy as there is much more to be pursued. Despite the achievements I have outlined, my Country still has challenges to overcome in order to fully realize the potential of ICT in our socio-economic development. At this juncture, let me on behalf of my Government, applaud ITU for the support it has accorded my Country through various ICT initiatives such as the development of the cybersecurity framework, the establishment of the National Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre, amongst other capacity building activities.
Kenya is convinced that there is much more we can achieve by providing unequivocal support to ITU for it to achieve its obligations and objectives to the membership. Kenya remains committed to the ideals of the Union and it is in this respect that we present to you, our intention to continue to serve for another term in the Council and the Radio Regulations Board of this prestigious body. My Country, as your trusted partner in ITU, humbly requests for your support at the elections during the upcoming Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan. We will continue giving our unrelented support to the ITU fraternity, sharing lessons learnt from both our successes and challenges as well as exchanging experiences that will enrich our walk into the future with ICTs.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, we thank Members of the ITU for giving us the opportunity to exercise this partnership in various capacities in different organs of governance at the ITU. Let us work together and build a legacy of prosperity and positive change in our people through ICTs.
With these remarks my I wish this WDTC conference fruitful deliberations.