Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a tremendous pleasure and an honour to be with you here this morning to inaugurate the ICTP / ARPL – ITU / BDT Guglielmo Marconi Wireless ICT Laboratory.
This laboratory is all about technology transfer – about capitalizing on the greatest and most abundant natural resource of all, which is of course human brainpower.
ITU is proud of the partnership which has been established over a number of years with ICTP. This has allowed us to jointly organize and sponsor fellowships for developing country participants at the annual “International Awareness Conference on Wireless Technologies”, which is held here in Trieste.
The specific topic of the conference is different every year, but the focus is always on wireless technologies that would be affordable and easily deployable in the context of developing and least developed countries.
This laboratory – a joint project between ICTP and ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau – has the ambitious aim to take this concept one step further, and to see wireless technology know-how transferred directly into African educational institutions.
The two year project – entitled “Strengthening Training Capacity in Wireless Networking in Africa” – will transfer wireless skills through innovative training schemes.
The goal is to develop networks of expertise, through a ‘train-the-trainer’ approach, which will allow the rapid spread of knowledge into the wider community – thus enabling the rollout of new networks and new opportunities for local connectivity. Thanks to this laboratory, we will be using wireless training kits developed by ICTP.
The project has a number of key deliverables:
- To establish wireless technology hubs at selected African educational institutions;
- To train trainers on related ICT curricula;
- To provide training materials;
- And to launch dedicated training opportunities.
This is a very exciting opportunity to make a difference where it really counts, and I am pleased to note that the first training phase of the project will be beginning next month, with a two-month-long course here at ICTP, followed by two-months of additional e-learning courses.
A second training phase of the project will take place at two African institutions that will act as regional hubs.
Ladies and gentlemen,
There is no better time than now to harness all of that abundant natural brainpower, and to put it to good work in helping to connect everyone across Africa to the kind of advanced ICT applications and services which will make the world a better place for all.
ICTs can help us address every single one of the most pressing issues of our time – from delivering better healthcare, to optimizing energy supplies; from building smarter cities, to creating more caring communities; from offering creative new ways to deliver education, to helping farmers get the best from their endeavours.
Let me therefore close by asking each and every one of you to think creatively and constructively about we can use this new laboratory, and how we can best take advantage of our excellent working relationship, to deliver increased connectivity to the continent that needs it most: Africa.