Updates

Development - other

2019

The GSM Association (GSMA) released a report on mobile-enabled digital transformation in Uganda in co-operation with the government of Uganda and a number of international development agencies. The report was launched during a high-level round table that examined how Uganda could advance the national and global sustainable development agenda through mobile-enabled digital transformation. The report was accompanied by a draft action plan to be implemented during the next two years which highlights several mobile-enabled activities that would overcome some of the local challenges across different sectors and hence progress development goals. There are five areas where mobile technology is impacting Uganda: (a) productivity and efficiency, (b) service delivery, (c) good governance and social justice, (d) climate change and the environment, and (e) digital entrepreneurship and emerging technologies. The study notes that three key mobile services, namely connectivity, mobile money, and cellular Internet of things (IoT), are driving digital transformation in Uganda through supporting the priority areas in the national development plan and achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). Yet, more co-operation among stakeholders is still required to improve digital and financial inclusion to underserved communities and further promote mobile-enabled solutions in the Ugandan national development plan.

Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Ltd. partners with 40 universities in Nigeria to establish a Huawei Authorised Information and Network Academy (HAINA) and provide industrially recognised information and communication technology (ICT) certification in networks, routing, and switching. In addition to connectivity, Huawei has been working in enhancing ICT skills and talents among practitioners in Nigeria by providing training to 20 000 ICT engineers who are currently managing the network of the country. ‘Since starting operations in Nigeria in 1999, Huawei has been working with local operators to providing safe, stable and high-quality communication networks in the country; currently covering about half of the population,’ said Huawei’s Managing Director Zhang Lulu. During a media event in Lagos, Lulu also reiterated the firm’s commitment to achieve digital inclusion in Nigeria through improving ICT infrastructure with quality and innovative solutions that are crafted to meet local needs and promoting ICT knowledge and skills among youth.

The second Arab High-level Forum on World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and 2030 Agenda was organised by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Arab Regional Office, the Lebanese Government, OGERO Telecom-Lebanon, and the League of Arab States from 19-20 March 2019, in Beirut, Lebanon. The forum, which was attended by private and public sector members, tackled different topics including Internet governance, digital financial inclusion, and the digital economy in the context of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). During the forum, participants emphasised the importance of large infrastructures to improve Internet access and e-services. Research, development, and innovation were further accentuated as essentials to promote digital economy. During the opening ceremony, ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti, noted that the Arab region is still lagging vis-à-vis the adoption of technology to support sustainable development. The Lebanese Minister of Telecommunication also highlighted that the linkage between WSIS and the 2030 Agenda is ‘the most practical way’ to achieve sustainable development.

Tropical storm Cyclone Idai caused massive human destruction in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi with hundreds of deaths and thousands of displacements. Among the international aid that reached the region was support from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the form of 30 satellite phones from Iridium Satellite Communications to Mozambique and 20 satellite phones to be sent to Zimbabwe. Emergency telecommunications can play a pivotal role in the immediate aftermath of disasters through supporting flow of information required for effective co-ordination of humanitarian response efforts. ‘The equipment deployed by ITU will enable vital links to coordinate relief and rescue efforts. ITU is committed to ongoing support during emergencies. When disaster strikes, there is no time to think about what to do and how organize our work. That’s why we are prepared and ready to take action at tragic times like this,’ highlights Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, which co-ordinates ITU’s emergency telecommunications activities.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a new policy brief that pinpoints the opportunities and challenges of digital platforms for development. the report notes that digital platforms can enhance efficiency through reducing transaction costs, decreasing customer prices, improving market access, ameliorating the use of underutilised resources, boosting flexibility for services provision, and promoting competition. Yet, the market power of certain digital platforms represents a challenge, let alone the pertinent ramifications on competition and consumer protection, data protection and privacy, taxation, and employment and working conditions. The report suggests that to capitalise on digital platforms and to address their social, political, and economic knock-on effects, such challenges should be tackled through sound policies and regulations. Further discussion on digital platforms for development is planned to take place during the global eCommerce Week 2019, 1-5 April at Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.

A study made by the Alliance for Accountable Internet (A4AI) based on the newly released Mobile Broadband Pricing data for Q4 2018 has shown that the average price of a gigabyte (GB) of data in relation to income increased over the past year (2018) for low-income countries. This new trend worsens the situation considering that low-income countries already face the least affordable mobile broadband prices in the world. The implication of this is that the already-wide digital gap deepens further and act as a barrier to greater socio-economic equality

Pages

 

The GIP Digital Watch observatory is provided by

 

 

and members of the GIP Steering Committee



 

GIP Digital Watch is operated by

Scroll to Top