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From: ZANIS News <[email protected]>


Rosaria Lubumbashi-Simengwa

GENEVA, MAY 18, 2013, ZANIS  — Information Minister Kennedy Sakeni has called for Zambia’s continuous partnership with the rest of the world if it is to appreciate the benefits that come with the development of Information and Communication Technologies.

Mr. Sakeni cited that during the WSIS Forum 2013, interactive sessions bordered on, among other issues, skills training programmes in ICTs, which he said if intensified in Zambia would greatly add value to the country’s growing economy.

ZANIS reports from Geneva that the Information Minister was speaking soon after the official closing of the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday. 

Mr. Sakeni observed that promoting the use of ICTs can result in increased accessibility for the majority thereby making the services affordable for all.

Additionally, Mr. Sakeni also noted that supporting youth and women programmes in ICTs development can equally boost the country’s economic development through job creation.

“When you teach the youths and women, you are teaching the whole country, “    he explained.

The Information Minister, however, noted that financial resources remain a challenge in maximizing on the development process of ICTs.

Mr. Sakeni added that despite this financial challenge, Zambia will continue to embrace the development of ICTs.

And Mr. Sakeni has warned that Freedom of Information   must not be abused but treated as a tool of economic development.

“Freedom of Information should be treated as an important tool of economic development, “   he emphasized.

And speaking earlier, during the official closing of the WSIS, International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure said the summit was not just a talk shop but that it delivered key recommendations and agreed on concrete outcomes.

Dr Toure described the presence of more than 50 ministers as a demonstration of the world’s commitment to reducing poverty through ICTs development.

“The more than 50 ministers’ participation demonstrates that WSIS is close to their hearts. And that ICTs remain high on the political agenda and will continue to play a crucial role in tomorrow’s development agenda, “   he illustrated.

 Among the major sessions discussed include the WSIS +10 plenary One and Two, the WSIS +10 visioning challenge which focused on Geneva phase 2003 and Tunis Phase 2005,the Ministerial Round Table and the High level opening session which identified emerging trends in the ICTs ecosystem.

The more than 150 sessions held provided for a vibrant atmosphere for facilitation and exchange on a multi-stakeholder vision of the WSIS forum.

Some of the outcomes of the WSIS sessions include enabling innovation at the grassroots through telecentres, improving education with ICT and bringing ICT closer to the people.

The WSIS forum 2013 which was held at the ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland attracted more than 1, 800 WSIS stakeholders who include among them representatives of government, private sector, civil society and international organizations.

The delegates were from over 140 countries Zambia inclusive.

The summit was co-organized by International Telecommunication Union, ITU, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, and United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.