​​Remarks by H.E. Abrham Belay (Dr.)

Minister of Innovation and Technology (MInT), Ethiopia

TDAG, 4 June 2020


​ Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be joining you today at the Telecommunication Development Advisory Group.

What unites us all is our commitment to make the world a better place by connecting the unconnected and fast-tracking ICT development for all.

There will be no better place than WTDC to forge a plan of action that can truly contribute to making a difference in people's lives.

WTDC must become a landmark development conference, not just for Ethiopia. Not just for Africa. But for the entire world.

I commend the BDT Director for leading the important discussions on the WTDC reform at this critical time when the COVID crisis has reaffirmed, more than ever, the important and vital role of connectivity.

This crisis has highlighted that WTDC must make a difference.

WTDC must be solutions-oriented.

WTDC must strive to serve the needs of all countries, of all people.

WTDC must be a conduit to build sound partnerships for digital transformation.

I applaud ITU Members for initiating key consultations at the regional level. The redesign of the world we want to see after WTDC has already started.

The important web-dialogues that have taken place constitute key building blocks to create the WTDC we want. The WTDC people need.

I am pleased to see the discussions and the exchange of ideas that have taken place so far. Ethiopia fully supports the WTDC reform and the on-going preparatory process.

Ethiopia also supports the hosting of a Youth Summit on 6 and 7 November, just before WTDC. I could not follow yesterday's discussions on youth but I was told that many ideas were put forward to engage and involve young people. The leaders of tomorrow. With almost 60% of Africa's population under the age of 25, there is no better place to host such an important Summit.

I also want to thank the BDT Director for setting-up the WTDC ​website and I am sure we will work together in the coming months to populate it with relevant information for the benefit of all members and other WTDC stakeholders.

I know that BDT has already started internal coordination and that focal points have been identified to work closely with the various committees we have established. The next step is the creation of the WTDC logo.

I look forward to welcoming you all to Addis next year and to host WTDC, for the first time in Africa.

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