Chairpersons of Committee
Distinguished Honourable Ministers and your Delegations
The ITU Secretary General
Ladies and Gentlemen
I bring to you the warm and fraternal greetings from the Government and People of Republic of Zambia and wish to pay tribute to the Republic of Korea for the warm reception and hosting of this important event in the beautiful city of Busan.
Since inception, Zambia has been a partner of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and has seen ITU transform and take a leading role in promoting the development and use of ICTs around the world.
The Government of the Republic of Zambia has embraced ICTs as an enabler of socio-economic development capable of enhancing the way services are delivered within Government and other sectors such as Agriculture, Manufacturing, health, education and other socio-services.
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates,
Zambia remains committed to contributing to the achievement of the vision 2020 set by the Union.
Our country has in the last few years recorded an increase in the adoption and utilisation of ICTs by our people, and this development has seen a resounding transformation in the lives of our nationals.
Government has embarked on establishing a national terrestrial ICT Infrastructure backbone that will connect all districts and constituencies of the country.
The Zambia Government has also been implementing projects and programmes under the Universal Access and Service Fund to propel the increase of ICT uptake in communities such as the construction of GSM mobile communications towers in unserved and underserved areas, establishment of community information centres and supporting the e-learning network.
Further, Government has ensured that all Government Line Ministries are connected with unified broadband infrastructure for effective implementation of the e-Government programme. Migration from Analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television is progressing well and is on course.
In the next cycle, Zambia will accelerate programmes aimed at fostering access and increased use of telecommunications/ICTs through the construction of more than 400 GSM communication towers in targeted rural chiefdoms.
Government will continue to provide an enabling environment to stimulate the utilisation of ICTs as evidenced by the development of the National Broadband Strategy and enactment of policies that facilitate the sharing of ICT infrastructure by operators and other players.
In order to build confidence and security in the utilisation of ICTs, Zambia has established a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) with assistance from the Union.
The country will accelerate provision of specialised training for the different stakeholders to ensure that security is enhanced. Zambia has in collaboration with the Union, developed the Child Online Protection and the Cyber Security draft strategies respectively.
In fostering an innovative ecosystem and adapting to the changing telecommunication/ICT environment, the Government has in the last two years, implemented a young innovators programme and has also established an innovators fund. The other programmes that has been introduced is the Girls in ICTs initiative to enhance girls' participation in the use of ICTs as well as promoting access to ICTs for persons with disabilities.
Zambia is committed to supporting the establishment of ICT incubation programmes in the private sector in order to promote innovative and progressive start-ups with promising technologies, products and/or services targeting mainstream business sectors on each market.
Lastly, we call upon all the members of the ITU for continued support as we seek election as a member of the Council for the first time, and wish all other candidates all the best in the elections.
I Thank You