This post was originally published by UN Technology Bank.
The UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries is now a member of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), an initiative of the World Wide Web Foundation, a global coalition working to drive down the cost of internet access in low- and middle-income countries through policy and regulatory reform.
The UN Technology Bank supports national and regional technological efforts in least developed countries (LDCs), reinforcing partnerships across sectors and helping nations identify and use appropriate technologies to transform their economies and improve livelihoods. A4AI works to ensure that affordability should not be a barrier to internet access, through a combination of advocacy, research, and in-country engagement to develop the policies needed to reduce the cost to connect and enable everyone, everywhere to afford to come online.
By becoming a member, the UN Technology Bank and A4AI now have a partnership opportunity to build a network to share knowledge, experiences, and expertise, and boost efforts to advance policy and regulatory reforms in least developed countries. Reliable connectivity and digital cooperation are necessary building blocks for strengthening science, technology and innovation, and play a key role in bridging the digital divide and making technologies more accessible and inclusive. Affordable and equal access to quality internet is essential to unlocking the full potential of least developed countries and for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Innovation and creativity are pillars that facilitate growth by bringing new ideas and opportunities to life. Now more than ever, fast and affordable Internet access has become essential to effectively close the digital divide that currently exists between the least developed countries and the rest of the world,” said Joshua Setipa, UN Technology Bank’s Managing Director. “Access to affordable and reliable internet connectivity is critical and is key for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Through this partnership, the UN Technology Bank and A4AI enter into a working relationship that opens up the substantial potential for cooperation in enabling connectivity tools and policy frameworks that the most vulnerable countries need in order to succeed.”
Sonia Jorge, Executive Director of A4AI, said: “We are delighted with our new partnership with the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries because we see this as a unique opportunity for our organizations to collaborate and implement innovative projects that support technological development and meaningful connectivity in LDCs. From sharing knowledge and experiences across regions to joint research and policy projects, our partnership will focus on action-oriented activities and projects that support overall digital development opportunities for everyone in LDCs.”