His Excellency Mr John KUFFOUR President of Ghana
His Excellency Prof. Mike OQUAYE Hon. Minister of Communications
His Excellency Engr. Albert BUTARE, Hon. Minister for Energy and
Communications of Rwanda
Honourable Members of the Parliament
Members of the Diplomatic Corp
Mr Shola TAYLOR CEO of Kemilinks
Ladies and Gentlemen
First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest
appreciation to His Excellency President John KUFFOUR, to the
Government here represented by Professor Mike OQUAYE Minister of
Communications and to the people of Ghana for their legendary
hospitality extended to me since I landed in Accra.
The Government, once again have gone out of their way to welcome
us with the authentic Ghana hospitality by facilitating this
gathering of the African ICT leaders.
The 2007 session of the ICT AFRICAN INVESTMENT SUMMIT is taking
place the year of the 50th Anniversary of the independence of
Ghana and I would all of us to give a applause to Kwame Nkrumah
one of the praiseworthy visionaries of Africa. This summit is
also being held soon after the historical Assembly of Heads of
State and government of the African Union that discussed the
important issue of the United States of Africa.
To Kemilinks, in particular to my friend Shola TAYLOR and his
team, I would like to say thank you for choosing Accra to hold
this Summit and for the hard work for its preparation. The
massive presence of the Africa ICT Family here in Accra makes
this Summit a promise of success.
Honorable Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Telecommunication and ICT industry has witnessed tremendous
progress over the past decade. One example is the number of
mobile telephone lines that increased from 165 million in 1999
to nearly 1.4 billion by the end of 2005 in Africa. Out of the
total 2.2 billion mobile subscribers worldwide in 2005, sixty
three percent were in developing and emerging countries with
Africa having the faster growth rate in the world.
The widespread deployment of mobile services in Africa is also
the result of the African Government regulatory reforms combined
with innovative business practices of the private sector.
For more than 140 years, the mandate of the ITU has been to
connect the world. Our Member States recognizes that ITU
played and will continue playing a major role to extend the
success of the mobile miracle to broadband internet access, and
from there to next-generation networks, services and
applications in Africa.
Several meetings took place the last 10 years seeking consensus
on how to leverage the digital divide. Focus was permanently put
in measures the Governments should put in place to foster
development and create an environment to attract investors to
the sector. The Geneva and Tunis World Summits and the World
Telecommunication Development Conference recognized that from
now on the priority for Africa is Investment in Infrastructure
under the synergy of Governments and private.
ITU made an enormous contribution to assist African Governments
in the creation of a favorable environment for investment in the
ICT infrastructure. We continually assist our Members in
creating an enabling environment for leveraging new
technological development for low cost services and
applications. Harmonization of policies and regulatory
frameworks, as well as human capacity building for maintaining
and ensuring sustainable development of ICT in Africa has been
an ITU priority as well.
It is now the momentum to see substantial investments in the
African ICT Infrastructure and I count on the private sectors to
make these investments a reality.
Distinguished Delegates, ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to take this opportunity to say few words on the
“Connect Africa ITU Initiative” which I consider a value-added
partnership for the development of ICT Infrastructure in Africa.
Connect Africa is a global multi-stakeholder partnership to
mobilize the human, financial and technical resources to bridge
major gaps in information and communication technology (ICT)
infrastructure across the continent and connect the region with
the world. It aims at supporting affordable connectivity,
applications and services to stimulate economic growth,
employment and development throughout Africa.
Connect Africa will be launched at a Summit of leaders in
Kigali, Rwanda, 29−30 October 2007, under the patronage of the
President of Rwanda, Mr Paul Kagame, and organized by the
International Telecommunication Union, the African Union, the
World Bank Group and the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT
and Development, in partnership with the African Development
Bank, the African Telecommunication Union and the UN Economic
Commission for Africa.
This collaborative effort seeks to involve various stakeholders
active in the region, including the European Commission, G8,
OECD, China, Arab countries, major ICT companies, the United
Nations Development Programme and other international
organizations and civil society, in particular the private
I invite all the participants to make the Accra ICT Investment
Summit a preparation for the Kigali Summit.
I would like to conclude saying that I am confident that the
exchange of experiences and knowledge will bring us new ideas
and will help us finding viable and sustainable solutions to
bridging the digital divide and fulfil the WSIS vision of
building an inclusive, people-centred and development-oriented
African information society opened to all.
Thank you for your attention.