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ITU Telecom World 2012 sets platform for young innovators: tomorrow’s leaders

Rwanda announces young innovator conference: Transform Africa

Dubai, UAE, 18 October 2012 – The Young Innovators Competition at ITU Telecom World 2012 came to a conclusion in Dubai following five days of workshops, mentoring and pitching sessions which ended with a lively debate between young social entrepreneurs and leaders of industry, government and academia. Finalists of the Young Innovators Competition were joined by 2011 competition winners and a distinguished panel featuring Minister of Rwanda Jean Philibert Nsengimana, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré, Karim Lesina, Executive Director of AT&T, Osman Sultan, CEO of du; Ali Jazairy, Head of Innovation and Technology Transfer at WIPO; Didier Fass of LORIA Nancy; Sarah Lamb, Consultant, Technet, and Founder of Girl Geek Dinners.

"You are all winners and future leaders in an industry where the future is bright and the sky is no longer the limit," Dr Touré said. The debate highlighted education; political will; business incubators; and commitment from the corporate sector to employ young people on merit as most important factors in enabling success. Mr Jazairy said, "You can build a flagless revolution based on innovation and knowledge, and we will follow you."

"As young innovators, we need investment, mentoring and advice to get our projects started," said competition finalist Linkest Diwan, whose Crisis Communicator project offers a total disaster management system. "I'm really happy the ITU Young Innovators Competition exists. It provides innovators with social purpose a leg up, coaching and exposure. If there were more programmes like this on the planet, I believe the economic and environmental crises we have would be over in a day."

The Minister for Youth and Information and Communication Technologies of Rwanda, Mr Jean Philibert Nsengimana announced the launch of Transform Africa, a conference and exhibition for young entrepreneurs from Africa and around the world, to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, 18-22 March, 2013. He explained that the conference will invite young ICT entrepreneurs from across Africa to training, development and workshops, plus high-level ministerial round table discussions and connections with investors in Rwanda and beyond. "The number of mobile subscriptions in Africa has doubled in the past six years," said Mr Nsengimana. "In Rwanda, the increase has been ten-fold over the same time period. Transform Africa will catalyse the transformation of the economic landscape of enterprises.”

The annual Young Innovators Competition offers young social entrepreneurs the chance to shine an international spotlight on their innovative and creative ICT-based projects or concepts to drive socio-economic development. The twelve finalists were selected to attend ITU Telecom World 2012, the leading global platform for knowledge-sharing, debate and networking in the ICT community, on the basis of the business viability and potential social impact of their projects.

Thank you for registering for ITU Telecom World 2012 in Dubai. We hope it provided you interesting content. To stay in touch with ITU throughout the year we highly recommend you sign up to our new Video Newsroom, your one-stop-shop for broadcast quality footage and news packages. Whenever ITU posts new video content, you will receive an automatic alert. The ITU Video Newsroom is at: www.itu.int/en/newsroom/Pages/videos.aspx

For more information, see http://world2012.itu.int/ or contact:

Sanjay Acharya

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU

tel +41 22 730 5046
mobile +41 79 249 4861
tel In Dubai: +971 556 397 535
email sanjay.acharya@itu.int 

Sally Moore


tel +44 20 8392 4087
email itu@axicom.com
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