President Yoweri Museveni has told the “Transform Africa Summit 2013” taking place in the Rwandan capital of Kigali that in the application and utilization of Information Communication Technology (ICT) must not be unidirectional but multi-directional and integrate it in the whole social economic transformation process’ of our national economies.
The Transform Africa Summit 2013 is being held under the theme of “The Future Delivered Now” and is attended by seven Heads of State seeking to spearhead broadband connectivity on the continent in order to overcome connectivity ICT challenges and to offer appropriate platforms for dialogue between governments and the private sector. It is hosted by President Paul Kagame and co-hosted by the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union, (ITU), Dr.Hamadou Toure.
The Ugandan leader said that “ICT must not only be used to assist agricultural development, manufacturing, in education and the services sector but it must also be used as a sector by itself especially in out-sourcing of jobs’ abroad. It must also be optimally applied in solving challenges in automation of machines, storing and retrieving of information, identifying of persons, in democratic voting systems, sorting out the wage bill and in defence systems”.
Museveni told the summit that there is no doubt that electronics and ICT is the way forward for the future in the social economic transformation of the people and countries and in this regard Uganda has already been linked to the under-sea cable and so far attained broadband backbone connectivity of 22 towns and municipalities out of 112 in the country. Six million people, constituting 20% of the population, he said, are connected to smart phones.
Host President Kagame said Rwanda had made modest advances and progress in the application of ICT in her national development efforts right from Primary Schools where each child has access to a laptop and ICT is part of every infrastructure the country has invested in be it in the construction industry, in health services in agriculture, etc. This has worked for them and can visibly be witnessed in every society across the country.
The Summit was also addressed by the Kenyan leader, President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, the Presidents of Mali, Gabon, and Burkina Faso as well as the Secretary General of the ITU, Dr. M.Toure.
President Museveni was accompanied by the minister of foreign affairs, Sam Kutesa, ICT state minister, Nyombi Tembo and MP Buhaguzi County Julius Bigirwa.