Nº 2 2014 > Djibouti’s new WiMax network
An opportunity to boost access to basic services in health and education
By Mohamed Siad Doualeh
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva
As we move into 2014, I should like to begin by addressing a message of peace and prosperity to all members of the international community, and by emphasizing our deeply-held conviction that no great undertaking is possible in our world without close cooperation and unstinting solidarity.
This assertion holds true for us whether we are looking at the management of challenges or the elaboration of global solutions.
On 19 December 2013, in Arta, a town situated some 40 km from Djibouti, the Head of State of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, and the Secretary-General of ITU, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, inaugurated the WiMax network within the framework of the “Millennium Village” project. This project, initiated during the Connect Africa Summit held in Kigali (Rwanda) in 2007 in the presence of numerous Heads of African States, falls within the framework of ITU’s objectives aimed at strengthening the capacities of the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure of African countries.
Ten African countries, including Djibouti, were selected to be the recipients of wireless broadband infrastructure. This project also forms part of Djibouti’s strategy for the development of ICT for use in enhancing social development. It lays particular emphasis on the use of ICT in the areas of health and education.
Within the health sector, ICT will help to improve the management of healthcare services through applications for data collection and for the provision of training and decision-making support to healthcare providers.
In schools, ICT and broadband can be used to provide large-scale training, modernize curricula and enhance skills. Connected schools constitute a truly open window on the world and on all available resources and information.
The various speakers who took the floor, including the Minister of Communication responsible for posts and telecommunications, all drew attention to the importance of the WiMax network, an innovative project designed to enable better access to basic services such as health and education.
President Guelleh stated that with new information and communication technologies having transformed the world, the launch of the WiMax network was a timely development that would henceforth serve to improve the living conditions of people in the country’s hinterland, who must not be left out of the progress being made in the telecommunication sphere.
In his address, President Guelleh took the opportunity to express his gratitude to ITU, whose support had been a decisive factor in the launch of the WiMax network, which, by bringing key facilities to people living in the rural areas of Djibouti, constituted a major step forward.
Following the discussions with the President of the Republic, the Secretary-General stated: “As an international organization with responsibility for ICT, it is our duty to support countries as they pursue their own vision. We are very happy to witness this country’s great dream, and will do our utmost to build on this collaboration.”
On behalf of my Government and on my own behalf, I express our deep gratitude to Dr Touré, whose vision and commitment to ICT development we salute.