Kagame pledges support for handicapped teen
President Paul Kagame has pledged €50,000 to pay for Joanne O’Riordan’s personal robot under construction in Trinity College Dublin.
Kagame made the pledge while in Dublin on March 23rd 2014 where he co-chaired the 9th meeting of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
This comes as a response to O’Riordan appeal she made at a UN conference two years ago for engineers to construct a robot that could act as a personal assistant for her made a worldwide plea.
Kagame’s contribution is apparently equal to that donated by International Telecommunications Union, last year when ITU injected €50,000 to have the School of Engineering at Trinity take up the challenge of constructing the robot.
Though O’Riordan’s robot (nicknamed Robbie) was unveiled at Dublin, and still in early stages of development, the project is said that the Trinity team will need significant amounts of extra funding to make Robbie fit for purpose.
In the meantime, while oopening the meeting, President Kagame emphasized the importance of broadband in achieving sustainable development:
“For us in Rwanda, broadband and ICTs play an important role in the progress we have made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Broadband and ICTs contribute to our economic growth and are helping to deliver more efficiently in education, health, finance and banking and other sectors.” He said.
President Kagame also reminded the representative of the various sectors present of the importance of honest dialogue and cooperation between the public and private sector:
“The broadband model we have adopted is based on effective public private partnership, guided by what works on the ground. We believe that there must be candid and consistent dialogue between industry and government – the kind that will generate trust and productivity.” He added.