H.E, Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, of the United Arab Emirates,
Your Excellences, Ministers and Ambassadors,
Secretary General, ITU,
Heads of Delegations,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for this opportunity to address the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference of 2018 on behalf of the Republic of Uganda. 

Mr. Chairman, we wish to congratulate you and thank the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates for hosting this Conference.  Please do convey our appreciation for all courtesies extended to us since our arrival.

I wish to take this opportunity to commend Mr. Houlin Zhao and the ITU secretariat for their valuable contribution in ensuring the success of this Conference.

Mr. Chairman, as we jointly strive to facilitate the achievement of global sustainable development for everyone through an interconnected world, Uganda recognises connectivity, inclusiveness, collaboration and human centric innovation as critical to this effort.  Uganda cherishes the role of ITU in this strife.  We are, therefore, committed to maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the ITU and to the realisation of its goals.

Mr. Chairman, at the national level, Uganda has identified as key the development of ICT as an industry and as enabler for the transformation of Uganda to a middle-income economy.  To this end, the country has developed a digital Uganda vision, a broadband policy, Rural Communications Development guidelines, and established a series of programs including an innovation fund, all aimed at realising this goal. 

Mr. Chairman, by March of 2018, 79% of Uganda’s population had broadband coverage.  This, in a country where 84% of residents live in rural areas and 53.83% of the population is aged below 18 years.  We now seek to extend broadband coverage to the rest of the country, while improving affordability, reliability, confidence in and uptake of these services.  In this, we are ensuring we leave no one behind, including persons with special needs.

Mr. Chairman and distinguished Heads of Delegations, I respectfully re-iterate my Government's request to support Uganda's candidature for the ITU Council representing Region D and for its candidate for the Radio Regulations Bureau, Mr. Simon Bugaba. Our quest is to enrich the diversity of the ITU governance deliberations, drawing from our rich experience in ICT development.

We pledge to work with you Mr. Chairman and all other delegations towards achieving a successful conference.

As I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all delegates fruitful deliberations in the coming three weeks and to invite the delegates to Uganda’s Reception this evening Arena Plaza.

For God and my country,

Thank You,
Xiè xie,
Merci beaucoup