Rwanda: Kagame Wins Award- Best Head Of State in Africa in Support of ICT

July 17, 2007 • Top Stories

Engineer Albert Butare, Rwanda’s energy and ICT minister receives the awards on behalf of President Paul Kagame and Rwanda from President J.A Kuffor’s representative at the summit in Accra, Ghana. Looking on are Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary General and other Ghanaian government officials.

President Paul Kagame emerged the best head of state in Africa in support of Information Communication Technology (ICT) during 2006. Kagame won the same award last year in May, in a similar event that took place in Kigali.

The nominees for the award were President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, President Kuffor of Ghana and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa among others.

The announcement was made Friday during the ongoing 7th annual ICT African Investment Summit in Accra, Ghana. The four-day 7th summit theme was “Strategies for Low Cost Broadband Access in Africa”.

Kemilinks international, an independent global firm that provides advisory, consultancy, training and investment facilitation services in ICT in the emerging markets, particularly in Africa did the rankings.

Rwanda also emerged the country with best ICT Policy framework last year, beating nominees; Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania.

Of the countries that gave most support to regional ICT initiatives, Nigeria emerged the best, beating nominees; Rwanda, Kenya and South Africa. South Africa emerged the most effective in the use of government websites, again beating Rwanda and Egypt.

Engineer Albert Butare, Rwanda’s Energy and ICT Minister received the awards on President Kagame and Rwanda’s behalf in Accra. In an exclusive interview with minister, shortly after touching down at Kigali International Airport, the minister carried both awards, said he would present them to the president in a few days.

The summit according to minister, “is a forum where African countries and investors meet to share best ICT experiences in line with regulation, investment and technological convergences.” At the summit, awards basing on policy, regulation, mobile operation, fixed line operation and TV Broadcasting are also given. On Regulation, Instituto Nacional das Comunicaçoes de Moçambique (INCM) emerged the best regulator with the most informative website.

Vodacom South Africa won the best national mobile operator with best innovations, beating MTN Nigeria, Sonatel, and Cell C. Celtel beat MTN and Vodacom as the best regional mobile operator with best innovations. The best national TV broadcaster with the best innovations was SABC, beating AIT Nigeria and NTA.

Asked about Rwanda’s secret to success, the Engineer said, “It is simply Rwanda’s commitment to its ICT vision.”

He said, while sharing experiences with West Africans at the summit, they were indeed impressed with how fast and organised Rwanda moves on her ICT policy.

“We have goals, objectives and milestones so far registered. We know we are not yet there but out there we are seen as stars,” the quite jubilant minister was quoted as saying.

He observed that Nigeria is already connected to submarine cable that runs from South Africa but their internet charges are higher than in Rwanda.

Minister Butare however said, “We know our weaknesses on regulation and have a vision to work around them.”

Source: Mansur Kakimba, New Times Kigali

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