Connectivity: Roles of Private, Public & Civil Society Institutions in Bridging the Digital Divide

Session at ICT4D Partnerships Conference, January 12, 2021 COVID-19 has shown how fundamental internet is. Not being connected increasingly means being shut out of the accelerated digital world, and missing out on employment, education, health care, and public services opportunities.…

Connectivity: Roles of Private, Public & Civil Society Institutions in Bridging the Digital Divide

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Session at ICT4D Partnerships Conference, January 12, 2021

COVID-19 has shown how fundamental internet is. Not being connected increasingly means being shut out of the accelerated digital world, and missing out on employment, education, health care, and public services opportunities. This has led to an increased sense of urgency for collaboration between governments, mobile operators, tech companies, the international civil society community, and investors.
This session brings together representatives from different backgrounds to discuss which role each actor should play in the collective effort to narrow the digital divide.

Speakers:
Fatema Kothari, Senior Program Manager Airband, Microsoft
Olu Olutola, Regional Connectivity & Digital Advisor, Innovation, Technology, & Research Hub,
Bureau for Development, Democracy & Innovation, USAID (invited);
Genaro Cruz, Director of Policy, Digital Inclusion Programmes, GSMA
Onica Makwakwa, Africa Lead, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)

Moderator: Duncan Drury, Connectivity, Infrastructure & Energy Associate, NetHope

Discover examples of connectivity case studies, and hear speakers discuss the following questions:

– What examples have you seen, or even experienced yourself, of challenges faced through lack of access to communications technology?
– What role is your organization taking in tackling these barriers?
– What are the most significant barriers to universal access to connectivity services?
– How should different types of org work together to tackle these barriers?
– What opportunities over the next five years do you see to make the biggest change to the digital divide?

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