During his speech at the opening ceremony of the 42nd session of the Governing Council of International Fund for Agricultural Development, Pope Francis underscored the importance of science and technology in eradicating poverty and hunger. ‘[I]t is necessary to promote a ‘science with conscience’ and place technology truly at the service of the poor. On the other hand, new technologies should not be contrasted with local cultures and traditional knowledge, but rather should complement and act in synergy with them, noted the Pope. The session, which was convened under the theme of ‘rural innovation and entrepreneurship’, focused on the role of social entrepreneurship and innovation in promoting resilience and addressing global challenges as well as the impact of new technology on the future of farming.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.