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EAC countries urged to support ICT in stimulating digital economy

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ICT sector
ICT

The East African Community (EAC) has urged its member states to embrace information, communication and technology (ICT) in facilitating the region’s vision of transforming into a digital economy.

A statement issued late Wednesday by the EAC said the call was made during the 10th edition of the East Africa Internet Governance Forum held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

The statement said the forum urged the EAC member states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda to take proactive steps toward ensuring that the internet continues to be a force for positive change in the region.

Jointly hosted by the EAC and Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation through the Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance, the forum was convened under the theme “The Internet We Want – Empowering All People in East Africa.”

Yves Iradukunda, Rwanda’s permanent secretary in the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, said the internet is critical in facilitating the region’s vision of transforming into a digital economy.

“To create the internet we want, we must ensure that it is accessible to all and that it is not too expensive. We must, therefore, work toward ensuring access to the internet is affordable by taking advantage of the power of competition,” said Iradukunda.

He called on ICT stakeholders to develop locally relevant content and applications for diverse sectors, including education, healthcare, environment, and agriculture — products that are useful to local communities.

The forum served as a pivotal platform for stakeholders across the region to deliberate on crucial internet-related issues.

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