ICTs: key to sustainable development


Image: By BiztechAfrica
ICTs: key to sustainable development

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’.”

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


Caterpillar launches free e-learning website for future technicians in Africa

Caterpillar has launched the pilot phase of an e-learning website for people who have the ambition to become a technician in Nigeria, Mozambique and DR Congo. Read More

E-agriculture: How ICT is taking farming into the future

ICTs have the potential to support agricultural development in poor countries by functioning as innovative solutions to agricultural challenges.  Read More

KitsoWorks holds stakeholder engagement session

The implementing partners of Botswana's KitsoWorks initiative are working on scaling up the youth empowerment pilot project. Read More

New i2i initiative to draw customer data for better financial services

The Mastercard Foundation has launched a $9.6 million Initiative with Finmark Trust and Cenfri to provide better aggregated data to help financial service providers respond more appropriately to banking needs of poor clients. Read More

Airtel Kenya, First Lady launch mobile clinic in Embu county

Airtel Kenta CEO Adil El Youssefi yesterday joined Her Excellency the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for the official handover ceremony of the Airtel funded 34th “Beyond Zero” mobile clinic to Embu County. Read More

Schneider Electric launches 2016 graduate programme

Schneider Electric South Africa has launched a graduate programme for those students who want to become world-class engineers in the field of energy management. Read More

Airtel Ghana wins CSR excellence award

James Asare-Adjei of Ghana Industries, and Maame Dufie Cudjoe with Kwame Gyan of  Airtel Ghana Airtel Ghana has been named Best CSR Company for Education at the 5th Ghana CSR Excellence Awards. Read More

COMESA, Microsoft collaborate to promote access, skills and innovation in 19 African countries

COMESA, through the COMESA Business Council (CBC) and Microsoft, have taken a step toward strengthening their working alliance by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which sets out how they will collaborate in the areas of access to technology, development of relevant skills and the fostering of innovation in COMESA ... Read More

MainOne upgrades school ICT lab

In line with its vision to improve broadband penetration across Nigeria, MainOne has given a facelift to the ICT Laboratory of Herbert Macaulay Girls Secondary School, in Yaba, Lagos. Read More

MTN Cameroon wins ‘’Y’ello Care” challenge again

For the third time in four years, MTNC has emerged as the top OPCO of the MTN Group in the domain of CSR.  Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks Unlimited


eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile

The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets. 


Nigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says WoodNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood

Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.