Digital technologies are one of the core enablers in the path towards a brighter, more resilient and inclusive future. ICTs and the Internet have the potential to radically transform lives and help the world rapidly recover much of the ground that has been lost due to the Covid19 pandemic. 

However, half of the planet remains unconnected and devoid of the impact, the facilities and services provided by the ICTs. The gender gap in global Internet usage is a stark example of how digital divides reflect and amplify existing social, cultural and economic inequalities: in two out of every three countries, more men use the Internet than women.

This session of the Road to Addis Series addressed the specific needs for Digital Inclusion of women and girls, youth and elderly, persons with disabilities, children, indigenous people and people living in remote areas to achieve true and meaningful universal connectivity. Another milestone for WTDC, the Connect2Include session provided all the necessary answers to ensure that no one was left out in this movement for bridging the digital divide and gender gap with the transformative powers of the Internet and ICTs. 

The session answered the following questions:


  • What concrete actions must be undertaken in regards to connectivity and ICT/digital accessibility to fulfil the specific needs of each of these 6 target groups?
  • How can we ensure inclusive, equal access and use of ICTs for all?
  • Which countries, private sector companies and International Organizations are leading the way for digital inclusion and what can the global community learn from them?
  • What types of partnerships or global cooperation efforts must be developed/scaled for these 6 target groups to be included in the universal connectivity agenda?

​This event was highly interactive with multiple mini dialogue segments addressing the needs of each of the target groups, as well as videos, polls and other elements added to enrich the program. 

The ​session was hosted by ITU and moderated by David Kirkpatrick, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy Media. ​
It featured Sango, the ITU Child Online Protection Mascot​.  


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​​​​If you have missed the episode, watch it here:


Sahle-Work Zewde
President of Ethiopia

Biography »​​


David Kirkpatrick
​Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy Media​
Biography »​​​​​

​ ​


Othman Naser Almoamar
Research Lead, Misk Foundation
Biograp​hy »

Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
Biography »

Monica Duhem
CEO HearColors
Biography »

George Anthony Giannoumis
Vice-rapporteur ITU-D SG & Associate Professor, Oslo Metropolitan University
​​Biography »

Lissette Gonzalez
Telecomunicaciones Indigenas Comunitarias A.C., Mexico
Biography »​

Claudia Gordon
Director of government & Compliance with T-Mobile Accessibility
Biography »​
Michael Hodin
CEO, Global Coalition on Aging
Biography »​​

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
UN Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director, UN Women
Biography »

Joanne O'Riordan
Activist and Sports Journalist
Biography​ »

Emilce Portillo
Biography »
Emma Randall
Youth Eng​​agement, ITU
Biography »​​
Hans Vestberg
Chairman & CEO, Verizon Communications
Biography »​

​​Roland White
Director, Global Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Microsoft UK
Biography »​
​​​​Judith M. Williams
Head of People Sustainability SVP,
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, SAP SE
Biography »


Please use the hashtags #RoadToAddis and #ITUWTDC on all digital platforms.
For ​virtual backgrounds, flyers and other visual materials, please access our Social Media Pack​. ​

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Road to Addis: Episode 3


18 March, 2021, 13:00 – 14:3​0 CET

Zoom webinar 
​​​The ​webinar was delivered in English with simultaneous interpretation in the five other UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian). International sign language interpretation and live English captioning ​​was provided.