ITU launches Connect2Recover to strengthen digital infrastructure in COVID-19 affected countries
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has launched Connect2Recover with the governments of Japan and Saudi Arabia to help countries affected by COVID-19 recover through the increase in access to affordable and reliable internet services. The initial focus of this initiative will be particular countries in Africa as 21 of the 25 least connected countries in the world are in Africa. COVID-19 has made plain the requirement for digital infrastructure and widespread broadband access for all to fully participate in the society and economy by facilitating limited interruptions to virtual work, education and social interactions. The ITU is seeking to transition its efforts from providing aid to countries responding to COVID-19 and focusing on ensuring seamless adjustment to the ‘new normal.’
Connect2Recover will consist of three key elements:
- Gap analysis of the use of technology and digital networks at a country level
- Development of strategies to ensure alignment between the digital infrastructure and recovery efforts and establishment of the ‘new normal’
- Design and implementation of pilot projects that further national strategies and policies along with research into digital policy areas prioritised by the countries
Connect2Recover is expected to reinforce the ITU’s efforts at digital transformation in Africa.