The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful who is currently participating in this year’s World Telecommunications Development Conference has called on ITU member-states to promote the Partner2Connect initiative.
According to the ITU’s Facts and Figures 2021, 63% of the world’s population used the Internet in 2021. This represents an increase of 17% since 2019, with 782 million people estimated to have come online during that period leaving 2.9 billion people offline.
According to the Minister, the Partners2Connect Coalition initiative is aimed at fostering meaningful connectivity and digital transformation globally and therefore needs to be formalized and focused on but not limited to the hardest-to-connect communities in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs).
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also indicated that the Partner2Connect initiative is the gateway to solving most of the challenges member countries are facing and for that matter “let us resolve for the Telecommunication Development Bureau to promote the Partner2Connect programme at regional and international levels to mobilize new resources and partnerships in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the WSIS Action Lines, and the United Nations Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation”.
She further called on member states to cooperate in implementing the various Partner2Connect pledges and commitments for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union, Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin revealed that the ITU Partner2Connect initiative had received more than 360 pledges which is equivalent to an estimated value of $18.5 billion.
She further stated that there is power in collaboration and the pledges received demonstrate that helping the world will ultimately benefit us.
The Partner2Connect Digital Coalition is a multistakeholder alliance launched by ITU in close cooperation with the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology, and in line with the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, to foster meaningful connectivity and digital transformation globally, with a focus on but not limited to hardest-to-connect communities in the least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The Partner2Connect Digital Coalition will serve as a leadership-level platform to engage all stakeholders to mobilize and announce new resources, partnerships, and commitments to achieve universal and meaningful connectivity.