The Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for Africa was held from 6 to 8 December in Kigali, Rwanda. Participants at the meeting assessed the ongoing implementation of the Dubai Action Plan adopted at ITU's last World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) and started discussions on the Regional Initiatives for the Africa region for the years 2018-2021.
"We are building blocks towards a successful WTDC-17," said Mr Brahima Sanou. "We have had very interesting discussions and had the pleasure to hear from ITU membership about the needs and opportunities of the region for the future. ICTs have revolutionized communications in Africa and are empowering people everywhere on the continent, promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, generating income and setting a path towards the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."
Patrick Nyirishema, Director General of the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and Chairman of the RPM, presented the final draft report. The report recognizes that the Regional Initiatives constitute an effective mechanism for fostering the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In discussing the Regional Initiatives for the Africa region for the years 2018-2021, meeting participants made several proposals all centered on the recognition that ICTs are ultimately about people. Participants acknowledged that the ICT sector is fast-developing and there is a need to take a paradigm shift in approaches for the region to benefit from these changes.
The RPM for Africa was preceded by the Regional Development Forum.
Both RPM and RDF were organized at the kind invitation of the Ministry of Youth and ICT of Rwanda.
The next Regional Preparatory Meeting will be for the Arab States and will be held in the Republic of Sudan from 30 January to 1 February 2017. It will be preceded by the Regional Development Forum on 29 January 2017.