His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba
President of the Gabonese Republic
Through his leadership of the Gabonese Republic, President Ali Bongo Ondimba has led his nation to receive much international recognition for its commitment to progress in the field of ICTs in the Central and Francophone Africa region as well as on the African continent.
President Ali Bongo Ondimba has stressed the necessity of establishing infrastructure, access to ICTs, as well as ameliorating broadband connections in both the public and private sectors, especially within households. President Ondimba has affirmed his position on the importance of ICTs in the development of Gabon, stating during the 2011 Broadband Leadership Summit at ITU Telecom World in Geneva that he promised to make high-speed Internet access an irrevocable right for all Gabonese citizens. He has worked to ensure this right, in collaboration with the World Bank, by investing in key ICT infrastructure, such as optical fibre, to further develop high-speed Internet access throughout the country with the goal of reducing costs and improving accessibility for citizens. An agreement was also signed with the World Bank to complete the installation of submarine optical fibre cable to connect Gabon to Europe as part of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) project, which will lead to an increase in Internet access. The Government of Gabon has also worked in conjunction with Airtel, a subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises, a multinational telecommunications services company based in India, to provide 4G connections. In addition, the collaboration seeks to improve the telecommunications sector in Gabon by supporting and realizing the Digital Gabon Plan, a programme that aims to achieve a countrywide digital infrastructure by 2016. The plan, set forth by Gabon and Airtel, will also support the development of a wide range of data-enabled services, improving healthcare, education, and agriculture sectors within Gabon through an increase in efficiency and speed of connection.
In recognition of outstanding leadership and initiative, it is our honour to present His Excellency Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Gabonese Republic, with the ICTs in Sustainable Development Award.