ICTs: key to sustainable development
DEVELOPMENTBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Samsung solar powered internet school for DRCA Solar Powered Internet School handed over in Kinshasa is expected to improve learning and education through the use of ICTs. Read More
MTN Foundation supports orphans in CameroonFriends of the MTN Foundation have supported orphans at the Marie France Foundation Reception Centre in Cameroon. Read More
AfDB: Ghana power network to be reinforcedThe Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a US $30.47 million grant and a US $43.9 million loan to the Republic of Ghana to reinforce and extend the country’s electricity distribution network. Read More
AfDB affirms support of Power AfricaThe African Development Bank (AfDB) is planning to deepen its engagement in Power Africa in 2014. Read More
M-KOPA Solar targets 1m homes by 2018M-KOPA Solar has closed its most recent round of funding, raising Ksh 1.72 billion to fund expansion of its customer base from 50,000 homes to one million homes by 2018. Read More
GE gives $1m to children’s fundGE has donated $1 million to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Read More
Demand for energy independence opens opportunities in gas turbine marketSubstantial growth in energy demand and policy changes to decrease gas flaring are driving new power plants installation in Africa and fuelling the uptake of gas turbines, says Frost & Sullivan. Read More
Mobile libraries to take multimedia facilities to Angola’s youthAngola is launching a new network of mobile multimedia libraries, to take ICT access to underserved areas. Read More
More productive jobs for youth vital for Africa’s developmentCreating millions of productive, well-paying jobs will be vital to boost economic growth in Africa, according to a new World Bank report on youth employment in Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.