Posts tagged as: summit

Uganda’s Museveni Urges Countries to Open Borders to Migrants

Photo: Pixababy

Passport visa travel migration (file photo).

By Frederic Musisi

Kampala — Migration of people, if managed well, has been known to be the oldest remedy to poverty so countries should stop closing their borders to new arrivals, President Museveni has said.

In his address read by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda at the third Pan-African Forum on Migration at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala, Mr Museveni argued that since most migrants are of working age, they can represent an expansion of labour notwithstanding challenges of support services and respective national security.

“It is, therefore, incumbent upon governments to design evidence-based migration policies that seek to maximise positive impacts, especially in the areas of investment, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, education and trade.”

The President said Uganda is currently hosting more than 1.2 million forced migrants (refugees), the largest population in Africa and third largest in the world, which has had adverse impacts on, among others, socio-economic, security, and environmental aspects, which “calls for concerted effort to address the causes and effects of this forced migration.”

“Africa has abundance of resources and our people should not be dying on dangerous journeys on the Mediterranean in hope of better opportunities. This means that we need to create conducive environments for our people to prosper and live a good and peaceful life,” he said.

The summit, which ends tomorrow, under the theme “Towards a Common African Position on the Global Compacts on Migration and on Refugees”, is part of the regional consultations for the Global Compact on Migrants and Refugees, which was adopted last September by the 193 UN member countries to start dialogue on the migration crisis.

Speaking at the summit, the Head of the European Delegation to Uganda, Mr Kristian Schmidt, said Uganda’s commitment to host such a large refugee population needs to be urgently bolstered by the international community.

“We need to work together to arrive at a win-win situation for both the migrants and their host countries and communities, as in northern Uganda. EU and Africa work together and have dialogues on migration at continental, regional and national levels,” Ambassador Schmidt said.

New Summit

Overwhelmed by refugee numbers, government and the United Nations, agreed to organise a solidarity summit in Kampala next month in an attempt to raise at least $2b (Shs7 trillion) to fund relief operations. The summit to be attended by a dozen heads of state and delegates from key international organisations, will be co-chaired by President Museveni and the UN Secretary General, Mr António Guterres.

Minister Siyabonga Cwele Attends Smart Africa Alliance Board Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda

press release

The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele has attended the Smart Africa Alliance board meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, as part of his engagements at the Transform Africa Summit.

His attendance of the board meeting follows Cabinet approval that South Africa joins the Smart Africa Alliance, which is a collaboration between African governments to develop relevant solutions and share resources to address the development challenges facing the continent. The Alliance places Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at the centre of meeting the developmental goals of Agenda 2063.

The board meeting is the highest decision making platform of the Alliance. Minister Cwele was accompanied by three Mayors.

South Africa will champion localisation and skills development for digital Africa in the Smart Africa Alliance. The aims are to;

Drive industrialisation through national infrastructure plans,

Stimulate demand for locally produced electronics,

Boost the capacity and growth of local and indigenous Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMMEs),

Build relevant and resilient infrastructure to foster innovation,

And promote private-public partnerships for ICT innovation throughout the continent.

“The Smart Africa Alliance will help African countries to digitise the continent and use ICTs to quickly catch up and be competitive with developed nations. The South Africa Government has decided that we should join the Smart Africa Alliance to contribute in the growth and integration of the continent,” said Minister Cwele.

He said manufacturing the ICT devices and gadgets on the continent will help to bring down the costs of digitising Africa. Another factor that he identified as key in the digitising the continent is the building basic and high end ICT skills to give Africans confidence in using ICT and also developing applications that solve African problems.

The Summit launched the Smart Cities master plan which is a blueprint for the development of smart cities on the continent. The Summit views cities as engines of economic growth and the masterplan seeks to maximise this potential by using ICTs to improve the development and management of transport systems, energy efficiency, water, sanitation, the environment, and the provision of online services to support government and business services.

Issued by: Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services

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Leaders Pledge to Advance the Continent’s Digital Transformation

Photo: Village Urugwiro /The New Times

Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou speaks during the Transform Africa Summit that ended on Friday. During the summit, African Heads of state pledged to ensure that Smart Africa is achieved.

By Collins Mwai

African Heads of State and government present at the recently concluded Transform Africa Summit have pledged to advance the continent’s digital transformation.

The leaders noted that they recognize the role of ICT in fast tracking development of their countries and the continent.

Speaking on behalf of the Presidents who attended the summit, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou said that governments had agreed that no efforts would be spared until the alliance’s objectives are achieved.

He noted that the governments recognize the role of technology in achieving respective national objectives as well as the continent’s development ambitions.

“Our governments will spare no efforts to ensure that Smart Africa is achieved,” he said.

President Issoufou commended President Paul Kagame and Rwanda for spearheading ICT uptake and using technology as a transformative agent.

He said that his country was keen on replicating lessons from Rwanda to advance his country’s digital transformation.

During the summit, Rwanda and Niger agreed on a partnership that will see them cooperate to promote Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and signed an agreement.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Summit that ended in Kigali yesterday.

The three day summit was attended by eight Heads of State and government; President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali, President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada of São Tomé and Príncipe, Vice President Inonge Wina of Zambia, as well as Prime Ministers Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet of Gabon and Francisco Pascual Eyegue Obama Asue of Equatorial Guinea.

The summit brought together over 4000 delegates from 80 countries including about 300 mayors.

During summit, countries adopted a smart cities’ master plan which will act as the roadmap in the development of smart cities across the continent.

The summit’s agenda included a First Ladies’ Summit during which they highlighted the need to ensure that there was gender equity in the process of ICT adoption.

The First Ladies summit ended on a high note with the adoption of The Kigali Africa Smart Women and Girls Declaration that among other things aims at increasing access, affordability and safety of technology for women and girls across the continent.

Dr. Hamadoun Toure the Executive Secretary of the Smart Africa Alliance announced that the membership had also grown from 18 to 22 as Sao Tome and Principe, Tunisia, South Africa and Cameroon joined.

Zambia and Nigeria announced that they would soon announce their membership in coming days.

Among the topics that featured prominently was the possibility of having a one area network cutting across the entire continent.

With a number of countries in East and West Africa having the One Area Network, delegates explored the chance of expanding it across the continent to reduce costs of communication.

Also during the summit, venture capitalists made investments commitment of about $40,000 in five local startups during the Face the Gorillas summit.

The summit also saw eight partnership agreements signed between various parties as well as investments commitments of about $55M.

Delegates also agreed to make the gathering an annual summit and went ahead to announce that it would be held in May next year.

Uganda: ICT Ministry, Army to Build Innovations Hub in Kampala

By Mark Keith Muhumuza

Kigali — The ministry of Information Communications Technology and the engineering brigade of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) are to work on the construction of an innovation hub in Kampala.

The hub will be built at the Uganda Information and Technology Institute in Nakawa, a Kampala suburb according to Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT and National Guidance minister.

“We have come up with an innovation support programme. In 2017/18, we have $5m (Shs15b) in the budget. Working together with UPDF engineering brigade, we shall build an innovation hub at the Uganda Information and Technology Institute, Nakawa. The land has already been identified and come July 2017, we shall be launching it.

The innovation hub will offer free working space to innovators. They will come and use computers. There will also be free Wifi,” Mr Tumwebaze said on the sidelines of the Transform Africa Summit 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda on Wednesday.

The innovation hub forms part of the broader digital strategy being drafted by the ministry of ICT. In it includes how government shall digitise some sectors such as education and health. Additionally, it will also include details on intellectual property and big data.

“We are in the final stages of tabling to Cabinet a digital strategy. This strategy will be setting out milestones for each sector. For instance the education sector, what are the e-education parameters and e-government parameters. When we get government services online, you cut costs and you remove corruption. We also have to train IT engineers to work for the government – and remunerate them better,” he adds.

Transform Africa Summit is the annual African forum bringing together global and regional leaders from government, business and international organisations to collaborate on new ways of shaping, accelerating and sustaining Africa’s on-going digital revolution.

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Africa: Deeper Emphasis Laid On Digital Africa Goal

Works, Transport and Communications Minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa, is representing President John Magufuli at a two-day forum dubbed “Transform Africa Summit 2017” in Kigali, Rwanda.

In a statement issued by the Ministry’s Communication Unit yesterday, the forum brings together global and regional leaders and experts to discuss new ways of shaping, accelerating and sustaining Africa’s on-going digital revolution.

“In the meeting, Prof Mbarawa will get an opportunity to give a presentation on the country’s level of achievements and challenges on the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure investment.

Areas to be covered include the development of policy and guidelines which are used in supervision of the sector, with a goal of boosting the country’s economy in partnership with other nations,” the statement noted.

According to the programme of the forum, the summit is geared at enabling member states to become more competitive, open and innovative smart economies, with favourable business environment and leveraging ICT innovations.

The first Transform Africa Summit was held in Kigali on October 28 to 31, 2013. It culminated in the adoption of the Smart Africa Manifesto that aims to put ICT at the centre of national socioeconomic development agenda of member states. The plan is to improve access to ICT, especially broadband.

The manifesto calls on the countries to improve accountability, efficiency and openness through ICT, especially advanced technologies in telecommunication, to put private sector first, and to leverage ICT for sustainable development.

This third edition of Transform Africa Summit, hosted Rwandan President Paul Kagame, is aimed to bring together Heads of State and Government, First Ladies, Ministers and Government officials in ICT and related sectors, finance, health, education and energy.

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Deeper Emphasis Laid On Digital Africa Goal

Works, Transport and Communications Minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa, is representing President John Magufuli at a two-day forum dubbed “Transform Africa Summit 2017” in Kigali, Rwanda.

In a statement issued by the Ministry’s Communication Unit yesterday, the forum brings together global and regional leaders and experts to discuss new ways of shaping, accelerating and sustaining Africa’s on-going digital revolution.

“In the meeting, Prof Mbarawa will get an opportunity to give a presentation on the country’s level of achievements and challenges on the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure investment.

Areas to be covered include the development of policy and guidelines which are used in supervision of the sector, with a goal of boosting the country’s economy in partnership with other nations,” the statement noted.

According to the programme of the forum, the summit is geared at enabling member states to become more competitive, open and innovative smart economies, with favourable business environment and leveraging ICT innovations.

The first Transform Africa Summit was held in Kigali on October 28 to 31, 2013. It culminated in the adoption of the Smart Africa Manifesto that aims to put ICT at the centre of national socioeconomic development agenda of member states. The plan is to improve access to ICT, especially broadband.

The manifesto calls on the countries to improve accountability, efficiency and openness through ICT, especially advanced technologies in telecommunication, to put private sector first, and to leverage ICT for sustainable development.

This third edition of Transform Africa Summit, hosted Rwandan President Paul Kagame, is aimed to bring together Heads of State and Government, First Ladies, Ministers and Government officials in ICT and related sectors, finance, health, education and energy.

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Nigeria: Dana Air Named Official Airline of National Security Summit

[Vanguard] Dana Air has been announced as the official airline of the National Security Summit on Kidnapping, Farmers -Pastoralists clashes, violent crimes and criminality in Nigeria scheduled to hold on 11th and 12th of May 2017, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

Regional Heads of State Summit Now Set for May 20

Photo: Samuel Miring’u/The East African

Regional heads of State during the 17th Ordinary EAC Summit in Arusha Tanzania.

By Christabel Ligami

The East African heads of State Summit has been postponed for the third time to May 20, raising concerns about the EAC leaders’ commitment to regional integration.

The Summit, which had been scheduled for April 28 in Dar es Salaam, was postponed following a request by Kenya through its Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection. The ministry cited undisclosed “other commitments,” — April 28 would have coincided with party primaries in preparation for the August 8 general election.

Originally scheduled to be held last December, the Summit was first moved to March, and then to April at the request of Burundi and Tanzania respectively.

Top of the agenda is giving direction to the Community after what has been a year of sluggish implementation of projects. The year was also marked by a dispute on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU and differences between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda on the route of a pipeline to evacuate oil from Uganda.

The heads of State Summit is usually held in April and November but was postponed to January 2017 following a request by Tanzania for time to consult on whether the EPA was viable.

Kenya’s Principal Secretary for East African Affairs Betty Maina said there was no cause for alarm in the delay. “Although decisions on key matters are pending, it can only be a big issue if the presidents go for a year without meeting,” said Ms Maina.

“We are hoping that there will be no more postponing from the current date. Burundi has confirmed availability for that day and we are waiting for the other partner states to do so.”

Wanyama Masinde, an expert on EAC integration says it is likely that the presidents are reluctant to meet because of the EPA issue; this especially so for Tanzania, which has taken a step back from the partnership.

“It is important for the presidents to meet because most decisions are pegged on the Summit’s outcome,” said Dr Masinde. Ms Maina, however, said the EPA was no longer a major sticking point because there were no timelines attached to it.

“Kenya has already signed and ratified the EPA which makes it safe for the country to sell to the EU market. We are only awaiting the decision of the other countries on the matter to decided the way forward,” she said.

“We expect that Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza will attend since the government had officially asked for the postponement of the Summit,” noted Dr Masinde.

Africa: Rwandan President Says ICT Should Unite Us, Not Deepen Divides

Photo: Village Urugwiro/The New Times

President Kagame with International Telecommunication Union secretary-general Houlin Zhao (left), and Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy during Transform Africa Summit’s ‘Conversations with Leaders’ opening session in Kigali.

By Collins Mwai

President Paul Kagame has said that the transformation of the African continent through ICT ought to be inclusive and serve to reduce divisions rather than widen them.

The President made the remarks, yesterday, at the opening of the ongoing Transform Africa Summit at the Kigali Convention Centre.

Kagame said the rollout and adoption of digital technologies and ICT in general across the continent should not distinguish or discriminate against any section of the population.

“Access to technology and information must also not distinguish between rich and poor or between urban and rural people. If technology is entrenching divides rather than equalising opportunity, then we are not harnessing it well and there will be negative consequences,” Kagame said.

He added that countries and private sector players ought to be a key tool in fulfilling the promise to bridge divides rather than deepen them.

Kagame highlighted the importance of technology as an essential tool towards achieving solutions.

“Technology is a powerful framework for bringing diverse stakeholders together to define challenges and find solutions,” he said.

In using ICT as a transformative agent, the President said that there ought to be a focus on transforming mindsets.

“Transforming Africa means transforming Africans, by enabling a practical mindset of problem-solving and discovery. The focus on people is the starting point around which we can build everything else, including the infrastructure and systems. This goal can only be achieved by working together with the private sector taking the lead and governments fostering conducive environment,” Kagame said.

This year’s summit focuses on smart cities with delegates deliberating and reviewing a blueprint for African capitals in the development and rollout of infrastructure, security, energy and transport, among others.

Kagame said smart cities was an ideal focus at the moment given the rapid rate of urbanisation across the continent.

“Africa currently has the world’s fastest growing cities, but Africa remains the least urbanised continent. Africa is not as prosperous as it should be because our cities are too small and disconnected,” he said.

“The Smart Cities framework, launched today [yesterday], should serve as a catalyst to fast-forward our plan. Our role is to continue to push for speedy implementation.”

Priority issue

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) secretary-general Houlin Zhao said development of sustainable cities ought to be a priority considering the urbanisation rates.

He said that this was achievable given the continent’s performance and achievement in other aspects such as the one area network, the scholarship fund, among others.

Dr Hamadoun Toure, the executive secretary of the Smart Africa Alliance, said that they were expecting more countries to join the alliance during the summit. The Alliance membership yesterday grew to 19 after the addition of South Africa.

Smart Africa Alliance was borne from the first edition of the Transform Africa Summit in Kigali in 2013 as leaders committed to fast-track development using IT.

The alliance membership has grown beyond countries to include nine development partners, including the World Bank, African Union Commission, African Development Bank, and ITU.

The Transform Africa Summit opening ceremony was also attended by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada of Sao Tome and First Lady Nana Trovoada, and Zambian Vice-President Inonge Wina.

Others included Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the UN Under-Secretary-General and executive director of UN Women; UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova, and Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, the AU commissioner for infrastructure and energy.

Tanzania to Host 350 At Global Logistics Summit

Photo: allafrica.com

Some of transport and logistics systems in Africa.

By Abela Msikula

Tanzania is set to host a fourday Global Logistics Summit (23 -26 August, 2017) this year in Dar es Salaam, where President John Magufuli is expected to honour the inaugural event.

Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) president, Mr Stephen Ngatunga said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the global trade event would host some 350 participants, among them, senior clearing and freight forwarding agents, government officials, ambassadors and trade representatives from Africa and the Middle East regions.

“At TAFFA, we are making strides in empowering businesses through this programme wherein renowned professors from Harvard University, among many others, will impart the knowledge on global freight forwarding industry and best practices,” said Mr Ngatunga.

He further noted that the president of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), Mr Stanley Lim and other federation dignitaries and country representatives would attend, as well as manage, the programme — wholly focused on freight forwarding and trade issues in Africa and Middle East regions.

In particular, The TAFFA president cited Tanzania as “an ideal freight transport hub” tailor-made to creating business networking among participants, even as it advertises it’s own tourist attractions.

Through its conference website, the Association had already marketed numerous sites that Tanzania could offer, enticing delegate to savour of these during a half-day tour on the final day of the meeting.

TAFFA confirmed that the delegate also expressed the need to visit the world-class Serengeti and Selous wildlife sanctuaries, as well as the spice islands of Zanzibar and the roof of Africa, Mt.Kilimanjaro. Dubbed, “Harnessing Logistics for Sustainable Economic Growth”, the meeting had mentioned as an essential event for Tanzanian businesses expansion, at a time when the government pushes hard for increasing trade into Africa and beyond.

“This Summit comes at a time when Tanzanian businesses need to increase awareness and knowledge on best practices to use especially in a digitally inclusive world where technology is king,” said TAFFA president, adding: “There are opportunities for business growth to be unlocked in Tanzania in terms of clearing and freight forwarding especially if landlocked countries like Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda plus Southern African countries utilize Dar es Salaam through Northern route and vice versa as a freight cargo transportation hub.

” For his part, the Assistant Director for Railway Transport Services in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, Mr Festo Mwayika, commented that the government was well pleased to facilitate the Summit, following its enormous advantages to the country.

“The most important advantage is using the opportunity to continue ‘showcasing’ to the world that Tanzania remains an ideal gateway for regional trade,” he commented.

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