ICTs: key to sustainable development
DEVELOPMENT| April 24, 2012, 1:14 p.m.
The ITU Broadband Commission for Digital Development issued a ‘call to action’ to include information and communication technologies (ICT) as catalysts for sustainable development when delegates gather in New York this week to continue negotiations ahead of the Rio+20 conference.
The call to include ICT networks, services and applications as enablers of sustainable development was issued at the start of the all-important second round of negotiations on the proposed outcomes for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). In a world where more people now have access to a mobile phone than to clean drinking water or a bank account, information and communication technologies, in particular broadband connectivity, offer an unparalleled platform to host an array of development services, such as mobile payment systems, e-Health applications, earth observation services and, increasingly, e-Government. Inclusion of a strong reference to the catalytic role of ICTs and broadband in the Rio+20 roadmap will help ensure solutions are found to meet the challenges of sustainable development in a rapidly evolving world where technology is increasingly central to all aspects of society.
The ‘Call to Action’ from the Broadband Commission for Digital Development comes just a few weeks after the launch of its report, ‘The Broadband Bridge, linking ICTs with climate action for a low carbon economy’ in Ohrid, Macedonia. The report presents ten recommendations for policy-makers and global leaders to utilize ICTs to accelerate global progress towards a sustainable, low-carbon future. It also urges leaders to: ‘bring convergence to ICT policy formulation so that it aligns with other policy areas such as energy, health, education and climate in order to maximize impact’. Rio+20 provides a vital opportunity to mainstream ICTs and broadband in achieving sustainable development.
“It is vital that information and communication technologies are given due recognition in the outcome of Rio+20 as ICTs provide the critical technological solutions needed to attain sustainable development for all humankind and the planet we live on,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said. “ ICTs promote the integration of ‘smarter’ and more energy-efficient economic growth, social development and environmental protection; failure to recognize the power of ICTs for development could very well lead to a ‘Future we don’t want’.”
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Schneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitieSchneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year. Read More
Merck in scientific partnership with Kenya Medical Research InstituteMerck has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Kenya Medical Research Institution (KEMRI) for a scientific partnership aimed at contributing to the country’s social and economic development. Read More
IBM partners with Airtel and Echo Mobile on Ebola containment initiatives in AfricaAirtel, IBM Research Africa and Kenya's Echo Mobile have joined forces to launch several initiatives to help curb the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Read More
AccessKenya Becomes ICT Partner for Nairobi Marathon 2014-15AccessKenya Group is this year’s ICT Sponsor for the Standard Chartered Nairobi International Marathon, to be held on 26 October. Read More
AfDB, Gates Foundation explore opportunities to work togetherAfrican Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka has met with Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at his Seattle-area office to discuss ways to work together to improve the development of Africa. Read More
Benjamin Mophatlane Foundation launched at MyWorld of TomorrowA foundation named for the late CEO of Business Connexion, Benjamin Mophatlane, has been launched to enrich the future of Africa’s youth. Read More
ICT helps combat illiteracy in SenegalICT-led programmes are helping to address illiteracy in Senegal. Read More
Airtel Santé Info criss-crosses DRC citiesThe Airtel Santé health campaign is criss-crossing DRC, taking health services to those who cannot afford them. Read More
Samsung supports SA elearning projectSamsung Electronics South Africa has met with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry stakeholders at the Eastern Cape Education Summit to pledge a partnership with the provincial Department of Basic Education. Read More
Schneider Electric signs exclusive off-grid solar distribution agreement with Zimbabwean firmSchneider Electric has announced the signing of an exclusive agreement with Samansco, a Zimbabwean renewable energy, back-up power and appropriate technology company. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie
Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year.SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter
SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.