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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

BDT Director's Speeches

Innovative Strategies for Development Summit
Manila, Philippines  08 June 2016

Innovative Strategies for Development Summit

Accelerating Inclusive and Sustainable Development through ICT

8-10 June 2016

Manila, Philippines



Mr. Brahima Sanou

Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Honorable Mario Montejo, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Republic of the Philippines;

Mr. Bambang Susantono, Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank;

Distinguished Speakers, Delegates, Guests;

Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning!

It is indeed my great pleasure to be with you here for the opening of the Innovative Strategies for Development Summit 2015: “Accelerating Inclusive and Sustainable Development through ICT”. 

On behalf of ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao, who was with you in last year’s Summit in Cebu, and the my other colleagues elected officials of ITU, I would like to express my special thanks to the Honorable Mario G. Montejo, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology for hosting this important Summit. 

Our deepest appreciation also goes to the Government of the Philippines for the warm welcome and the excellent facilities provided at our disposal.

I am very pleased that ITU is co-organizing this Summit with the Department of Science and Technology - Information and Communication Technology Office of the Philippines and the Asian Development Bank.

Indeed, this is an excellent partnership which I hope will be sustained in the years to come. Let me seize this opportunity to commend Asian Development Bank for its commitment and its tremendous contribution to development of this region.

The theme of the Summit: “Accelerating Inclusive and Sustainable Development through ICT" says it all at the time we are embarking in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets.

I am impressed by the diversity in stakeholders who are participating in this Summit, ranging from senior policy makers, regulators, national and local government officials, industry practitioners, academia, youth, NGOs and civil society.

We gather here today to share experiences and develop partnerships for new strategies and initiatives related to the use of ICT innovations in the areas of Education, Employment, Agriculture, Healthcare and Rural Economic Development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are also here today because we all agree that we cannot envision to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets without using innovative tools. And ICTs are one of them.

In a world where Education, Employment, Agriculture, Healthcare and Rural Economic Development sectors are facing increasing pressure to improve quality, accessibility and affordability, incorporating ICTs in their production and delivery mechanisms will definitely bring immense value.

The tremendous development of ICTs will accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals through e-education, e-health, e-agriculture, smart grid and smart cities just to mention a few.

The number of mobile-cellular subscriptions worldwide grew from 2.2 billion in 2005 to 7.2 billion in 2015.

Mobile access, including satellite mobile, 4G access technology, and soon 5G, coupled with the decrease of the price of access devices such as smartphones and tablets is putting an unprecedented computing power in the palm of ordinary citizens.

The utilization of big data, open data, cloud computing, and the development of Internet of Things or and soon the Internet of Everything, are opening doors of opportunity for accelerating the attainment of the SDGs.

It is  estimated that the Internet of Things will have a total potential economic impact up to $11.1 trillion per year in 2025, which would represent 11 per cent of the world global GDP.

It is anticipated that nearly 40 per cent of the value created by the Internet of Things will be generated in developing economies. I am convinced that big part of this will be generated in this region.

For all of us, it is all about bringing the ecosystem together. Governments have a pivotal role in convening all the stakeholders to build comprehensive and sustainable strategies, policy and regulatory frameworks.

In order to tap into the full potential of ICTs for development we need to move from vertical silo policies and regulations to collaborative policies and regulations. For instance, ICT regulation alone cannot facilitate e-education or e-health.

Education and health regulatory frameworks cannot either. The same applies to Employment, Agriculture, banking and smart cities, to name a few.

Governments Departments and local governments need to create this collaborative policy and regulatory ecosystem amongst themselves.

The private sector and industry also has much more to offer than simply the connectivity infrastructure. It can provide technical expertise around content and service delivery, data management and analytics, security, hosting solutions, etc. to support the implementation of innovative strategies and projects in individual countries and in the region.

Other stakeholders including international and donor organizations, academia and every connected individual also have critical roles to play in the ICT sector for a successful ecosystem.

Distinguished participants,

I look forward during this summit to discussions, debates and meeting of minds on an economy in which ICTs play a catalytic role not just in accelerating local economies but in making key development goals easily attainable by cutting transaction costs, improving access, expanding services, promoting inclusiveness, improving government efficiency for sustainable development.

In conclusion let me state that today ICTs are less about optical fiber, zettabyte, satellite, 4G, 5G, tablets, smartphones or whatsoever.

Instead, ICTs are about streamlining Government processes, bringing education to the neediest people in order to create national cohesion, inclusiveness and economic growth.

ICTs are about extending health services to rural and remote areas and to the most vulnerable strata of our society.

ICTs are about saving lives when natural disasters strike.

Above all for me ICTs are just about people.

As we talked about sustainable development during this Summit let us remember an old proverb that says "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children".

Let us therefore together take the needy steps to make ICTs work for our children.

 “Mabuhay and maraming salamat po”. Thank you very much.