Friday, September 18, 2015

CTO Forum opens with a large turnout as Secretary-General Elect Shola Taylor takes oath of office

CTO Forum opens with a large turnout as Secretary-General Elect Shola Taylor takes oath of office
Over 400 participants from Commonwealth countries take part in the Nairobi event.
NAIROBI, 15 SEPTEMBER 2015 – Shola Taylor, Secretary-General Elect of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation took his oath of office during the opening of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum 2015 held this week in Nairobi, Kenya.
The oath ceremony took place in the presence of over 400 participants, including representatives of over 30 member countries who are attending the Forum ahead of the Organisation’s Council meeting to take place on 16 - 17 September 2015. Appointed in June this year, Mr Taylor will officially assume office on 17 September 2015.
“I feel a high sense of responsibility to take this organisation to greater heights. It is indeed a big challenge and I am all set to build on the foundations of my predecessors.
“I did not take this job just to be seen talking. I want to make a difference and plant a new ICT tree at the CTO.” Mr Taylor said in his statement of acceptance.
More specifically, Mr Taylor said he was determined to make a difference for all member countries in the following areas:
- affordable, universal and high-quality broadband access
- adoption of adequate policies on cybersecurity to protect businesses, financial systems, networks and vulnerable groups, especially children
- effective regulatory environments that protect consumers, but also attract and protect investments in the ICT sector
- use of ICT applications by all member countries in all spheres of economic and social activities, including e-governance, e-education, e-health, etc
- greater participation of the Commonwealth community at international fora on ICTs. 
 
The Nairobi event was officially opened by the Honourable Minister of Information, Communications and Technology of Kenya, Dr Fred Okeng’o Matiang’i who led a farewell ovation for outgoing Secretary-General Professor Tim Unwin, and invited the audience to commit more of their efforts towards greater broadband access and use.
"As an ICT fraternity gathered at this 2015 CTO Forum, I believe we have the responsibility to explore more on how the Commonwealth region can effectively use broadband as a tool for change", Dr Matiang'i said.
Speaking of the progress achieved by Kenya, Francis Wangusi, Director-General of the country’s Communications Authority said that "digital services such as e-banking, e-health, e-commerce, e-education are now a mantra among Kenyans as more and more people access affordable smart devices."
Representing the International Telecommunications Union, Deputy Secretary-General Malcolm Johnson expressed the readiness of the Union to collaborate with the CTO to advance the development of ICTs throughout the Commonwealth. He expressed full confidence in the ability of Shola Taylor to lead the Organisation successfully and wished him well.
Also present at the opening of the event was Paul Njaga, Chief Executive Officer of Chase Bank Kenya who spoke of the bank’s effort to using technology to address barriers to banking services across the country.
Organised on the theme “Towards a Connected Commonwealth”, this year’s event will address the following over three days:
- International connectivity, and connectivity for rural communities
- Regulation
- Broadband
- M-commerce and mobile money
- The emerging consensus over the governance of the Internet 
- Use of connectivity in health, education and agriculture
- Technology trends
- Youth and ICTs
 
The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum, the annual ICT event of the Commonwealth of Nations, is held annually in a Commonwealth country. The purpose of the event is to facilitate the exchange of ideas between senior country officials, the private sector and civil society within the Commonwealth, but also beyond. The location of the 2016 Forum will be decided by the Council of the Organisation later this week.

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