Your Excellency Chairman of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018,
Your Excellences Ministers, Heads of Delegations,
ITU Secretary-General and other Elected Officials,
Distinguished Delegates,
All protocols observed.

First, allow me on behalf of the Rwandan delegation to express our deep gratitude to the authorities of the United Arab Emirates for the warm welcome and impeccable organization.

Your Excellences,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Rwanda’s ICT sector has registered tremendous progress over the last 24 years, thanks to the visionary leadership of our President and partnership with ITU that has paved way for private players to collaborate and co-invest in rolling out high-speed broadband networks across the country.

Le secteur des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication au Rwanda a enregistré d’énormes progrès au cours des 24 dernières années, grâce au leadership visionnaire du Président Paul KAGAME et au partenariat avec l’UIT qui a permis aux acteurs du secteur privé d’investir dans le déploiement des réseaux à large bande et haut débit dans tout le pays.

As we continue to seek ways to achieve our ambitious vision of becoming a knowledge-based economy, we have prioritized leveraging the state-of-the-art infrastructure to support development of homegrown solutions that address challenges unique to our continent. We are witness to the improved healthcare delivery powered by drones; Citizens and Businesses are able to access services online driving an inclusive, cashless and paperless economy. The impact of this new wave of innovations in developing economies is very transformational, making it possible to leapfrog generations of long-established technologies.

Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Rwanda firmly believes that the role of ITU in bringing together member states to debate key policy issues and work towards a sustainable digital future, is crucial today more than ever. The 4th Industrial Revolution is gaining momentum, with some of the emerging technologies growing exponentially; I would like to call on all member states to work together for a stronger union, capable of responding to the expectations of the membership, both now and in the future. Particular attention needs to be paid to ICT development issues, in order to avoid a potential digital chasm, between the developed and the developing countries – which will have far greater consequences in the 4tt IR era, than the digital divide in terms of connectivity alone.

For this reason, Rwanda is seeking re-election to the ITU Council, to continue working with all of you towards this noble goal. We pledge our continuous support to the broader ITU vision and reiterate our commitment towards total global digital inclusion.

Thank you for your kind attention.