World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Getting Africa Online

UN-Backed Meeting in Kigali Focuses on Role of Youth in Getting Africa Online

New York, Sep 9 2011 11:10AM

With much of Africa still unconnected to the Internet, broadband commissioners and representatives of governments, the private sector and civil society met in Rwanda’s capital to examine how to get the continent wired to high-speed networks, including the role of young people in getting Africa online.

The forum focused on the role of youth in defining new information and communications technology (ICT) services and driving take-up, according to a <"http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2011/29.aspx">news release issued by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which was among the participants in the two-day meeting that ended today in Kigali.

It also focused on the policies needed to help ensure African youth gain access to online services such as education and health care, and considered how government and industry can support strategies to encourage youth entrepreneurship.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré told participants that broadband is the single most powerful tool available to accelerate progress towards achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to drive social and economic development.

“In the 21st century, with broadband, no young African should ever again need to be sent abroad in order to enjoy the benefits of an excellent education,” he said.

“If you are connected, it no longer matters if you are geographically or socially isolated; you are still connected to the information society. But if you are not connected, you are – literally – cut off from a whole portion of the world’s riches.”

ITU says that fixed broadband Internet access remains “prohibitively expensive” in Africa. By 2010, only one out of nine people in Africa had access to the Internet, and fixed broadband penetration was just 0.2 per cent – compared to 24 per cent in Europe and 26 per cent in the United States.

The meeting was held at the invitation of the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, who told the gathering that African youth possesses the energy, passion and dedication to use ICTs to address global challenges.

“Our duty as leaders is to build the right environment and promote the necessary investments to allow them to fulfil their potential,” he stated. Let’s not wait another century to recognize that broadband was another missed opportunity for Africa.”

The forum also featured a competition showcasing 11 new apps created by young Rwandan developers. The two winners, M-AHWIII and Osca, will represent Rwanda at the forthcoming ITU Telecom World 2011 Digital Innovators competition in October.


Sep 9 2011 11:10AM
________________

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Afghanistan: Record Number Of Women And Children Killed Or Wounded

More women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, a United Nations report revealed on Monday... More>>

Tale Of Two Pandemics: Follow The Science And Do Not Forget One At The Cost Of The Other

Covid-19 has posed innumerable health, economic, and social challenges for all, including people living with HIV. It has exposed the fragility of health systems around the globe and has diverted political attention and funding from other infectious diseases like TB and HIV... More>>


UN: Rights Chief Calls For Prompt Release Of Protestors Held In Cuba
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday called for the prompt release of protestors and journalists detained during anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, some of whom are being held incommunicado... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs



Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>


Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>


UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>