KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- The
Internet Society will hold the first ever Africa Regional Internet and
Development Dialogue from May 8-9 in Kigali, Rwanda, officials said Wednesday.
The event is
being organized in partnership with UNESCO and Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and
meeting will bring together experts, including government and inter-governmental
organization officials, business and educational leaders from throughout the
continent to discuss how Africa can use the Internet to advance education,
innovation and job creation, according to a statement released by the Internet
Society on Wednesday.
released in 2016 by ITU, the UN specialized agency for information and
communication technology, shows that 3.9 billion people worldwide remain cut off
from the vast resources available on the Internet, despite falling prices for
Internet penetration rates at 81 percent in developed countries, compared with
40 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in the least developed
aims at gathering various organizations working on Internet and development
across the region to identify synergies and create opportunities for
coordination and collaboration.
Regional Bureau Director for Africa at the Internet Society, said one of the key
topics of discussion will be what needs to be done for Africa to benefit from
the transformational opportunities of the Internet for the benefit of the
African economy and education.
are many challenges, we know it can be done. Countries such as Kenya and Rwanda
have created policy environments that enable innovation and they are now seeing
the benefits of the Internet economy. Universities throughout the continent are
also using e-learning opportunities to increase their reach as well as to give
flexibility for their students,” said Bekele.
will offer an opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss not only the
challenges, but also the achievements in building the Internet economy and
education in Africa, review the successes and setbacks of various initiatives
throughout the region, according to organizers.
Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, noted that Africa is on an
unstoppable move toward digital transformation and the room for increasing speed
and impact is limitless.
only be achieved if we are able to harness effectively the power of
partnerships. We therefore welcome and are pleased to co-host this dialogue
which is a great platform for advanced partnerships ahead of the transform
Africa Summit that Rwanda will host from May 10 to 12, 2017,” he said.
Banerjee, Director of Knowledge Societies Division, Communications and
Information Sector at UNESCO, said it was an honorr to participate in this very
committed to working with all stakeholders to harness ICTs in a way that serves
the interests of learners and the larger teaching/learning community,” said
The event is
part of a global series of Internet development conferences organized with the
aim of furthering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that
aim at tackling the world’s main development challenges by 2030.
Internet Development Dialogues were held last year in Asia Pacific, hosted by
UNESCAP, and in Latin America and Caribbean in partnership with Inter-America
Development Bank and hosted by the Government of Argentina.