The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have been adopted as the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are set to be achieved at a time of major digital technology transformation. Emerging technologies are increasingly becoming a reality which requires different sets of knowledge and skills across all sections of society.
It is on this premise that industry regulator; Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) will be hosting the 2016 Global ICT Capacity Building Symposium in partnership with the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) from 5th to 8th September 2016 at the Safari Park Hotel. The symposium will bring together various industry players from across the world to deliberate on trends and developments in the sector and their effects for human and institutional capacity building.
The overall objective for the symposium is to provide strategic direction to the national and international community, on issues relating to capacity building in the area of ICT. It also aims to strengthen cooperation among the global ICT capacity building community, particularly as the world focuses on the achievement of the 17 SDGs across all development sectors. For universities and other training providers, the Symposium provides a forum to gauge the market needs in terms of training and capacity building in the field of ICT, thus assisting them to effectively streamline their training and delivery programmes.
Statistics released in July by ITU show that despite developing countries now accounting for the massive majority of Internet users, with 2.5 billion users compared to one billion users in developed countries; about 3.9 billion people across the world cannot access the vast resources available on the Internet, despite falling prices for ICT services. In Africa, an estimated 75% of the population constitutes non-internet users. This calls for rapid development and investments in ICT skills by key stakeholders in the industry to not ensure increased participation in the economy, but also the formation of digital citizens for a digital society.
Appreciating the choice of Kenya as a host for the global conference, CA Director General, Mr Francis Wangusi stated the country’s efforts to become a digital society.
“As a country that is switched on when it comes to ICTs, we are delighted to be hosting the ITU CBS which brings together like-minded people to discuss industry capacity building. Kenya’s mobile phone penetration which stands at over 88% and internet penetration at 82.6% (approximately reaching 35.5 million individuals) continues to show our continued development and investment in ensuring that all Kenyans have access to ICT services thus presenting new opportunities for job creation and economic growth,” he said.
CBS attracts contributors from countries worldwide, as well as from regional and international organizations. Panelists and speakers include high-level officials such as Ministers, Director-Generals of Regulatory Authorities, heads of UN Organisations, CEOs of private sector companies, representatives from Universities and research institutions and other experts in ICT capacity building.
Key note speakers at the event will include, H.E. William Ruto, Deputy President, Mr Joe Mucheru, CS, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT), Mr Fred Matiang’i CS, Ministry of Education, Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU, Mr Francis Wangusi, Director General, Communications Authority of Kenya and Mr Brahima Sanou, Director Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU among others.