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ITU hosts First Advisory Board Meeting of m-Powering Development Initiative

by david.nunes

ITU hosts First Advisory Board Meeting of m-Powering Development Initiative

Mobile industry leaders to harness technology for development

Geneva, 15 October 2013 – The First Advisory Board Meeting of the m-Powering Development Initiative opened today aimed at using the reach of mobile tele-connectivity to achieve long-term sustainable development.

Mobile devices and services, which have seen remarkable growth worldwide, have the capability to empower users in remote and developing areas as well as trigger development and economic activity.

In line with the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and principles of the information society, the m-Powering Initiative is the result of a series of ITU activities aimed at expanding and enhancing telecommunications services with a focus on the developing world. M-Powering Development is designed to serve as an international, multi-stakeholder platform that seeks to leverage the ubiquity of mobile technology beyond basic communications.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré called for partners to join ITU’s m-Powering Initiative to help achieve the goals of sustainable development. “Mobile cellular technologies have reached people in the remotest corners of the world,” Touré said. “The time is now ripe to leverage this phenomenal growth to empower people to meet their goals for sustainable development and shape the future we want.”

Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, reinforced the importance of harnessing the capabilities of mobile technology for citizens in the developing world and creating win-win outcomes for all stakeholders involved. ‘‘For a better world, a more peaceful world, we must harness the power of mobile communications to empower every global citizen to realize and unleash his or her full potential as a productive human being,” Sanou said. “M-Powering acts as the beacon, the harbinger of real change; fostering new partnerships and acting today for a better tomorrow.”

The Advisory Board, which will meet twice a year, is composed of leaders in the telecom fraternity with a track record of making a real difference in the field of m-Powering development. This includes eminent personalities from diverse backgrounds with a range of interests and expertise in the mobile industry.

Under the chairmanship of Mr Sam Pitroda, CEO of C-Sam and Technology Adviser to the Prime Minister of India, the Advisory Board convenes today to provide strategic direction for the development and implementation of the m-Powering Initiative. Critical considerations will include the pace of industry change, project financing, the ability to scale up pilot projects and the promotion of successful models.

“The launch of the m-Powering initiative by ITU is very timely and innovative,” Pitroda said. “The initiative has a sense of urgency and provides a unique opportunity for us and other partners to democratize ICTs and eradicate poverty across the globe. It is an initiative that has at heart those who are at the bottom of the pyramid.”

Specific objectives of the meeting include:

  • Identifying common goals and challenges
  • Pursuing fundraising and partnerships
  • Creating  electronic exchange platforms for the exchange of ideas
  • Initiating  field work in various regions
  • Setting up working groups/thematic committees
  • Establishing clear objectives for the evolution of the initiative and adherence to the initiative’s timetable

The Advisory Board will meet again next year to review progress and address other strategic issues.

See Videos and Photos.

For more information, please see: www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Initiatives/m-Powering/Pages/default.aspx or contact:

About ITU

ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For nearly 150 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. www.itu.int

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