Over 500 participants from government, business, academia, non-governmental organizations and the United Nations family are meeting in Nairobi this week to formulate and optimize human capacity building strategies for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, to improve’ digital skills and empower countries to take full advantage of strong continued growth in ICT-related jobs.
Organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for ICTs, and hosted by the Communications Authority of Kenya, the global ICT Capacity Building Symposium is expected to provide an opportunity for stakeholders from across the world to discuss trends and developments in the sector and their implications for human and institutional capacity building, and to develop strategies to accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a time of major digital technology transformation.
“This symposium brings together key ICT and education stakeholders to discuss how emerging technologies are changing the human capacity building environment: ITU is committed to helping all its members effectively and rapidly build human ICT capacity and improve ICT skills.” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.
“ICTs occupy a very special place in the hearts and minds of Kenyans. Indeed, ICTs not only drive the Kenyan society today but also are intricately embedded in our national development plan, which Kenya calls ‘Vision 2030’,” said William Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya.
“To gain from the wave of ICT innovations, we must urgently build the capacity of our people and institutions. This is particularly critical for developing countries and least developed ones that still lag behind in many respects.”
CBS-2016 panellists and speakers bring together high-level officials including government ministers, Director-Generals of national regulatory authorities, heads of UN organizations, CEOs of private sector companies, representatives from academia and research institutions and other experts in ICT capacity building.
CBS-2016 discussions will focus on new skills requirements in a changing world; innovative tools for education and learning; new digital learning methodologies including online learning through social media and MOOCs (massive open online courses); and the central role of academia in building skills in the digital era.
“The cornerstone of ITU’s capacity building strategy is strengthening existing structures and introducing innovative initiatives for capacity building.” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “Partnerships and collaboration are essential for capacity building in the ICT sector: we rely on partners to design and develop appropriate programmes and deliver training to our Members: our work impacts people’s lives across the globe.”
This morning’s programme also featured a Ministerial Roundtable on ICTs, Sustainable Development Goals and future priorities for human capacity building, and a Leaders Dialogue on the topic of establishing coherence in capacity building.
Francis W. Wangusi, Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya welcomed participants and re-affirmed Kenya’s readiness to offers its renowned hospitality. “As the home to many ICT innovations, we have much to showcase and share with the global ICT community.”
An exhibition showcasing capacity building projects across the world and best practices from academia and industry was unveiled and will run for the duration of the symposium.
The official opening was preceded, on 5 September by two pre-events dedicated to “Capacity Building in Internet Governance” and “Regulators as Enablers and Consumers of Capacity Building” respectively.