Kenyatta Wins Prestigious ICT Award

The award given to Kenyatta is in recognition of the impressive progress Kenya has made in ICT development

President Kagame has attributed Rwanda’s steady progress in the last decade to adoption of home-grown solutions.

While addressing a High Level Meeting at the United Nations Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda convened under the theme: “A New Rural Development Paradigm and the Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities Model inspired by the ‘Saemaul Undong”, seek President Kagame said that home-grown initiatives drawn from Rwanda’s culture have to a large extent contributed to Rwanda’s progress.

“From Gacaca, no rx our community courts, which has brought restorative justice and reconciliation to a once divided nation; to Ubudehe which supports rural communities to collectively solve problems related to poverty; to Imihigo which enables citizens to keep their leaders accountable to Umuganda and many others,” he said during the function held over the weekend.

Header advertisement

The event, co hosted by UNDP, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and OECD was an opportunity to discuss the central role of rural development in sustainable development goals.

Citing Korea’s ‘Saemaul Undong’ success in achieving development, President Kagame described Korea’s home-grown solution as testimony that local ownership of development programs, citizen involvement and national unity always yields results.

“These are the values that guided Rwanda’s post-genocide development agenda. We chose to take responsibility for our reconstruction, by building consensus on a national vision, and working together to ensure no one was left behind,” President Kagame said.

Emphasizing the importance of solutions informed by a local context, President Kagame called on a future of sustainable development goals centred on mutual learning and global cooperation:

“Changing mindsets, and doing things differently, is never easy, But doing the right things and getting results builds resilience and the capacity to do even more. Each country has its own unique circumstances and challenges, but also the resources to solve its problems, complemented by external partnerships.”

The high level event was co-chaired by President Park Geun-hye of South Korea and attended by President Choummaly of Laos, President Sang of Vietnam, President Humala of Peru and the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

President Park Geun-hye described ‘Saemaul Undong’ as a development strategy that has not only helped lift Korea up but also transformed Korea’s national ethos.

“Half a century ago, Korea’s per capita GDP stood below one hundred dollars. We were among the poorest countries in the world. And yet, fired by a desire for a better life, the whole nation rallied together to climb out of poverty. And we did so in the spirit of diligence, self-help and cooperation that animated the ‘Saemaul Undong.’ As a result, Korea managed to industrialize, and within five decades, we rose to become one of the top 15 economies in the world,” he said.

‘Saemaul Undong’ or New Community Movement was South Korea’s home-grown initiative launched in 1970s by South Korean President Park Chung Her.

The initiative which centred on traditional values of communalism and self reliance played a key role in modernizing South Korea.
The International Telecommunications Union has awarded Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta a key award for promoting the use of ICT for sustainable development.

The ICTs in Sustainable Development Award honours the important contributions made by leaders, ailment on behalf of their country, towards harnessing the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for sustainable development.

President Kenyatta was given the award for the impressive progress Kenya has made in ICT development and the important role technology is playing in achieving development and service delivery goals.

The award is also meant to encourage nations to seek technological solutions to meet national and global aspirations for a sustainable and inclusive future.

Speaking at the event held at the UN Headquarters on Saturday night, President Kenyatta said the Government remains committed to mainstreaming innovations and ICT to enable growth and development for the country and the whole region.

“Our National ICT Master Plan and National Broadband Strategy outline our desired path to a knowledge based economy where ICTs underpin service delivery, and provide the bedrock of our activities in critical sectors of the economy, especially agriculture, education and health,” said the President.

He said policies enacted by the Government will consistently focus on innovations as an essential step to enhancing growth of the ICT Sector.

In line with his policy to support the ICT sector, the President will soon launch Enterprise Kenya, a fund to encourage and support innovation in the country.


“This fund will be used to aid budding Kenyan innovators and start-ups to enable them get the necessary financial support to move from idea to start- up and from start- up possibly to market in good time,” said the President.

He said the fund will be reinforced by a strengthened intellectual legislative regime, intense capacity building and mainstreaming of ICTs in government’s service provision to enhance ICT growth in Kenya.

Kenya has already gained international recognition for groundbreaking innovations in ICT and the use of ICT in improving service delivery through Huduma Centres.

President Kenyatta thanked the International Telecommunications Union Secretary General, Mr Houlin Zhao, for nominating ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi to the Broadband Commission.

“I am certain that our country will bring, through him, additional energy and creativity to enhance the very necessary expansion of the broadband foot print across the developing world especially, as we move forward to secure sustainability of the developments we have so far achieved,” said the President.


Header advertisement
To Top