Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya were among nine recipients of the International Telecommunication Union’s award to recognise leadership in sustainable development through Information and Telecommunication Technologies (ICTs).
The duo were recognised alongside seven other heads of state/heads of government for their efforts to improve access to ICT networks and services at a special award ceremony held at UN Headquarters, New York.
Other recipients of the prestigious award included Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Gabonese Republic, Tabaré Vázquez, President of the Eastern, Republic of Uruguay, Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand and Meltek Sato Kilman Livtuvanu, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu.
[blockquote right=”pull-right”]According to the UN specialised agency for ICTs, ICTs play a pivotal role in achieving the post-2015 development agenda, enabling access to key development tools. E-education platforms help poor and remote populations to access to education and digital literacy skills, opening the world of employment.[/blockquote]
- Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya
The award was conferred by Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU, at a Gala Dinner hosted by the Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF), which celebrated ITU’s role in ‘Connecting the World’. Speakers at the event heralded the catalytic role that ICTs play in the achievement of the SDGs.
“The leaders recognized at this event set the benchmark for improving access, affordability and application of ICTs to drive socio-economic development,” said ITU’s Zhao. “With the international community on the brink of agreeing a bold 2030 agenda, it is clear ICTs have a fundamental role to play in the achievement of the new Sustainable Development Goals. ITU will be doing everything in its power to support our members – both government and private industry – in driving sustainable development through ICTs, and will work tirelessly to ensure the benefits of ICTs are available and accessible to all the world’s people.”
According to the UN specialised agency for ICTs, ICTs play a pivotal role in achieving the post-2015 development agenda, enabling access to key development tools. E-education platforms help poor and remote populations to access to education and digital literacy skills, opening the world of employment.
Emergency telecommunications facilitate key communications for natural disasters, helping to effectively coordinate relief efforts. mHealth tools open access to medical care, both for doctors and patients, reducing costs for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases, and long-term and preventable illnesses.