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ITU Connect Americas summit in Panama

Dr Touré presented an ITU award to the President of Panama, in recognition of his work on expanding access to ICT in his country.

Dr Touré chats with President Martinelli of Panama, and with President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica who is patron of the ITU Child Online Protection initiative.

17-19 July 2012, Panama City, Panama

On 18 July 2012, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré welcomed participants at the opening of the ITU Connect Americas summit, held in Panama City. They included the host of the event, President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, and other Heads of State and government ministers, as well as leaders of regional development organizations, international agencies, the ICT industry, NGOs and academia. In total, 36 countries in the region were represented.

Dr Touré noted that, in terms of ICT, “the Americas region is one of the world’s most dynamic markets,” with mobile telephony in particular showing spectacular success and achieving a regional penetration rate of over 100 per cent. He noted that Panama “has been the most successful country in the region,” with mobile penetration reaching an extraordinary 204 per cent by the beginning of 2012. Work remains to be done, he added, to expand access to ICT – especially broadband –  but “the Americas is a dynamic region full of potential to achieve regional inter-connectivity and extend the benefits of ICTs to everyone, even in the remotest communities and under-served urban areas.”  

Connect Americas is part of ITU's Connect the World series, launched in 2005 and aimed at connecting the unconnected by 2015. The event in Panama was organized by ITU in close collaboration with the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), the Comisión Técnica Regional de Telecomunicaciones (COMTELCA) and the Caribbean Telecommunication Union (CTU).