[DIGITAL Business Africa] – The Partner2Connect (P2C) digital development roundtable, held in the Rwandan capital on the occasion of the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), ended on June 09, 2022 with the announcement of more than 360 commitments representing an estimated joint finance value of US $ 18.55 billion.
These groundbreaking 360 promises to universal connectivity are made to improve the lives of billions of people around the world.
For the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), these commitments help rally unprecedented support from governments and businesses to expand Internet access around the world, which is essential for sustainable development.
The ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) held from 07 to 09 June endorsed, along with these commitments, global strategies in connecting with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The push for universal and meaningful connectivity represented by P2C’s promises will directly benefit billions of people around the world, especially in developing countries where connectivity is lagging behind.
Financing, services, technical assistance and other forms of assistance detailed in the commitments will enhance people’s access and readiness for digital technologies, while developing digital ecosystems and encouraging investment in digital transformation.
” The Partner2Connect roundtable on digital development proves to be a tipping pointITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said at the conclusion of the pledging sessions. development of ICT so that no one is left offline. »
About 2.9 billion people – more than a third of the world’s population – are still not connected to the internet.
Rwandan Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, President of CMDT, said: “ We all need to pull in the same direction if we are to succeed in tackling the challenge of delivering meaningful universal connectivity around the world. Partner2Connect is one of the best ways in which we can enable and combine productive partnerships into sustainable connections for all.. »
Partner2Connect’s commitments have come to a critical turning point, with the long-running COVID-19 pandemic emphasizing the importance of fast and reliable broadband connections as an important service.
The promises announced at the round table are not just financial. They also include innovative commitments, policies and advocacy plans aimed at bridging the digital divide, creating fertile ground where new partnerships and alliances for global connectivity can thrive.
” After months of collaborative work to develop the Partner2Connect action framework and pledging platform, with ITU Member States, civil society groups, philanthropic organizations, private organizations and youth organizations, we are now taking an important step by integrating together under one roof of an unprecedented number of promises to promote universal and beneficial connectivity“, Said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of ITU.
In a major announcement at the three-day roundtable program, ITU host country Switzerland promised that Geneva would host the Giga headquarters, a joint initiative of ITU and UNICEF to connect all the world’s schools to the Internet in 2030. Announcing this project, the Swiss Confederation has declared that the new Giga office in Geneva will be a unique point of cooperation, linking the world of finance and international relations and development.
A varied promise
The Partner2Connect digital roundtable brought more than a thousand participants to the site in Kigali, accompanied by more than 350 people connecting remotely. In addition to announcing pledges and commitments, the event featured ten high-level roundtables attended by senior representatives from government, private sector, international organizations, civil society and advocacy groups. youth.
Speaking at today’s closing ceremony, HE Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalization of Ghana and Head of the P2C Coalition said: “ Our Partner2Connect coalition promises us to accelerate our efforts to connect the disconnected and achieve sustainable global development. Let us implement all our promises for our collective benefit.”
The five information sessions organized over the three days of the event focused on key themes of digital development: Working together to change education; Promote the Doha Agenda for LDCs5 through P2C; Discover the secret ingredients of investing in the last mile connection; Accelerating Universal Significant Connectivity through UN Digital Compact; and a special session on assistance and support to Ukraine to rebuild its telecommunications sector.
” Discussions at the WTDC and the Kigali Plan of Action will be key to helping us develop the Compact at the UN Future Summit next year.“said Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and Acting UN Secretary-General’s Envoy for Technology.” In particular, the work of the Partner2Connect coalition will bring us closer to our collective goal of universal and meaningful connection for all.“, he added.
Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Acting High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), said: “ The Doha Agenda for Action calls for everyone in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to have secure, affordable and useful digital connectivity by 2030. We can only get there with the collaboration and long-term partnership represented by Partner2Connect. This is a truly inspired example of how relationships between different sectors can benefit LDCs. »
Partner2Connect’s interactive dashboard, newly launched at P2C Roundtable this week, will allow users to search for specific commitments and contributors, as well as view integrated tracking analytics.
Partner2Connect: a multi-stakeholder digital coalition
The Partner2Connect digital coalition is a multi-stakeholder alliance launched by the ITU in close collaboration with the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy for Technology, and in line with the UN Secretary-General’s roadmap for digital cooperation, to stimulate meaningful connectivity and digital transformation around. in the world, with a focus on the communities most difficult to connect with in less developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small states developing islands (SIDS).
” The Partner2Connect digital coalition is a unique opportunity to take a holistic approach, enable new partnerships and mobilize the resources needed to connect those still not connected. P2C will open up new avenues for stakeholders who understand that collaboration is the only way to address a challenge of this size and dimension. I call on all actors and partners to join P2C and work together so that we can achieve our goal of significantly connecting the 2.9 billion people who are still not connected.”, said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau
As a reminder, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICT). It promotes innovation in the field of ICT with 193 Member States and more than 900 companies, universities and international and regional organizations.
Founded more than 150 years ago, the ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in the provision of orbiting satellites, improving communications infrastructure development world and to establish global standards that promote the seamless coherence of a wide range of communication systems.
From broadband networks and advanced wireless technologies, to aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite earth monitoring and oceanography, as well as the convergence of fixed and mobile telephony technologies, Internet and broadcasting, the ITU is committed to connecting with the world.
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