The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana has been elected to chair The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in the Forum held in Geneva, Switzerland held 13th to end on 16th June 2017.
The candidacy of Rwanda represented by Minister Nsengimana was proposed by Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union and confirmed through votes.
Minister Nsengimana said his mandate will be to ensure that the Forum runs smoothly and produces expected outcomes – concrete actions and results that contribute to driving SDGs through the use of ICT.
Minister Nsengimana has revealed that chairing WSIS Forum highlights Rwanda’s progress and international repute in promoting technology.
“Chairing the WSIS Forum strengthens Rwanda’s leadership at global level on ICT for Development matters. It is a contribution that Rwanda is making to ITU and the world in shaping a better future for humanity. It is a vote of confidence in Rwanda and President Paul Kagame’s global leadership and strong commitment to leverage the power of technology and Innovation for inclusive social economic development, in Rwanda, Africa and Globally,” he said.
MinisterNsengimanasaid that Rwanda continues to be a hub for science and information technology in Africa through excellent schools on the continent and the world in general.
“We have continued to build our talent base with new schools such as African Leadership University, African Institute of Mathematical Science, International Centre of Theoretical Physics, etc. We have also launched Regional Centres of Excellence in Data Science, Internet of Things and Learning and Teaching Maths. The SDG Centre for Africa was launched in Rwanda, with a promise to facilitate faster progress towards SDGs by mobilizing resources and enabling partnerships and exchanges of best practices,” he said.
Rwanda wants to raise the rate of experts from excellent institutions from the current 2% to 10%.
Minister Nsengimana explained that a report on Rwanda Innovation Ecosystem was launched at the Forum.
The Report was done in collaboration with ITU and showed ‘what needs to be done to grow our capacity to produce competitive technology startups that are able to become successful at national and global level. Opportunities include high quality business events that allow startups to build their networks and expand their markets as well as a great environment of doing business in Rwanda. Challenges include lack of enough tech talent and financing for tech startups – but the good news is there is very good progress in meeting those challenges.’
Minister Nsengimana held meetings with various leaders of UN departments including Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union , the General secretary of UNCTAD;DrMukhisaKituyi and Arancha Gonzalez, Chief Executive of the International Trade Centre.
WSIS was for the first time held in 2003 in Switzerland. The second session held in Tunis in 2005 recommended annual celebration of World Information Society Day held on 17th May.