Today the Prime Minister Edward Ngirente officially launched the first Generation Connect Global Summit, which brought together youth from 115 countries.
The Summit has brought together young leaders, entrepreneurs, social change-makers, business leaders, engineers, policy specialists, students and community advocates among others.
It is being held under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ahead of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), which will be held in Kigali next week.
“We need to continue to invest in digital skills of our young people. Digital skills are increasingly becoming the footing of all jobs,” said the Prime Minister, before adding; “The good news is that the youth are the most technologically ready and more likely to connect than any other age group.”
Ngirente said that the summit was “very timely” saying that it will shine light on shaping a safe inclusive and sustainable digital future, which means the young people.
Adding that, the youth in every part of the world are playing a crucial role in bridging the digital gap and achieving the sustainable development goals the digital economy is growing rapidly with almost every aspect of life, and that massive economic opportunities being created online.
The Covid-19 pandemic, he added, demonstrated a necessity for everyone to embrace the digital era, adding that opportunities ahead are promising, but warned that in order to fully tap into this opportunity, there was need to ensure no one is left behind.
” Youth delegates in order to prepare our young people to fully benefit we need to first attach efforts to address the digital infrastructure divide globally “he told the over 500 young delegates.
Ngirente emphasized that although, studies show that 95 per cent of the global population may have access to the 3G or 4G mobile network, this access doesn’t necessary translate to meaningful connectivity.
He challenged the youth to play their role to increase connectivity across demographics.
James Abrahams Ouma a youth from Kenya said that this summit bringing together young people from all over the world to tackle SDG 9 which is increasing access to internet connectivity, shows the progress towards achieving this, especially in the less developing countries
He added that we as young people should be at the forefront by being creative and innovative in what we do to promote digitalization.
Celemance Bizima, a computer science student at the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA) said; “I am looking forward to the sessions and hope to learn from youth from all over the world how they do what they do especially regarding innovating environment-friendly digital projects, since climate change is a global issue, I think this is an opportunity to discuss how we can use technology to create a better world.”