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

by david.nunes

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

Mobile industry leaders review progress and discuss way forward

Geneva, 23 May 2104 – The Second 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.

The m-Powering Development Initiative is an international, multi-stakeholder platform that seeks to leverage the ubiquity of mobile technology beyond basic communications. Its objective is to capitalize on the availability of mobile networks to strengthen economies and offer new opportunities to improve health, education, governance, banking, sport and commerce.

“The initiative is designed to leverage the potential of mobile technology across markets and countries worldwide, especially in remote areas of the world,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré.

Today’s meeting, which follows the First Advisory Board Meeting held in October 2013,  reviewed and assessed the progress made in the areas of m-Learning, m-Health, m-Commerce, m-Sports, Business Models and Advocacy and discussed the future work programme.

The Advisory Board was assisted by six working groups, which were established for each theme to bring in the expertise from various sectors. The working groups reviewed ongoing initiatives and activities in their respective fields, identified key stakeholders and elaborated real life examples and best practices that can be replicated and scaled up.

“Today we took further steps as we heard about concrete proposals on the way forward to m-Power development,” said Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “I strongly believe that these early steps will pave the way to great things and positive change in people’s lives and I look forward to translating our words into actions.”

The Advisory Board, which meets twice a year, is chaired by Mr Sam Pitroda, Founder of C-SAM, Inc. and Adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation. It 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.

“Today you may find mobile phones being used even in the most remote areas,” Pitroda said. “We should really focus on using mobile connectivity for development. Development related to m-learning, m-health and m-commerce are some key areas for inclusive growth for all.”

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

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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