Inaugural Commonwealth ICT Applications Forum calls for support for app entrepreneurship
Kigali, 15 February 2017 – App developers, policymakers and regulators have gathered in Kigali, Rwanda to promote mobile app entrepreneurship as a means to accelerate the development of ICT applications in areas such as education, health and other sectors.
The Commonwealth ICT Applications Forum ’17, organised by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) and hosted by the Ministry of Youth & ICTs, Government of Rwanda, will showcase the work of app entrepreneurs and hear how policy and regulation can foster innovation.
“ICT applications offer enormous potential to enhance socio-economic development,” said Mr Shola Taylor, Secretary-General of the CTO. “We have assembled in Kigali to discuss how innovative ICT apps can assist communities, enhance national economic growth, expand national ICT industries and promote understanding between people and communities.”
Fuelled by the rise of smartphones, phablets and tablets, the global app industry is expected to be worth around US$ 190 billion by 2020.
Speaking at the opening of the event, the Hon Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth &ICT outlined the potential for the app economy:
“The app economy means what? It means lives saved,” said Hon Nsengimana. “Apps are saving lives; farmers are being empowered, education is being improved, governments are being made to be responsive and responsible.”
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Andrew Rugege, Regional Director for Africa, Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunications Union, said:
“The Commonwealth ICT Applications Forum 2017 is one of the gateways and opportunities for us to ensure that Africa does not once again get left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The ICT Applications Forum ’17 will feature an interactive session to identify apps that can address needs and hear how policymakers can cultivate a vibrant app economy. The event will also showcase inspiring ICT entrepreneurs, such as:
· Ronald Katamba, Jaguza Livestock App, Uganda
· Dr Agbor Ashu, GiftedMom, Cameroon
· Jean Niyotwagira, Torque Ltd, Rwanda
· Shikama Dioscore, Agrigo Ltd, Rwanda
· Richard Migambi, Evolve Ltd, Rwanda
· Mariam Muganga, Academic Bridge, Rwanda
The Kigali event, which is also supported by telecommunications regulator Rwandan Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), is part of a wider effort by the CTO and member countries to promote the use of ICT applications for socio-economic development in areas such as e-governance, e-health, e-education and e-agriculture.