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AI for Good Global Summit

Webinar on "Building Smart Villages: A Blueprint"


A joint publication by Niger National Agency for the Information Society (ANSI) and ITU, titled “Buildin​g Smart Villages: A Blueprint” was presented at a webinar "Building Smart Villages: A Blueprint. A comprehensive Whole-of-Government approach for Rural Digital Transformation" webinar took place 25 June 2020 at 14:00-15:30 Geneva time.


The Smart Villages Approach

​The Smart Villages initiative builds on a comprehensive, collaborative, cost-efficient, sustainable and Whole-of-Government approach to connect rural villages and improve the availability of essential social services for rural dwellers. Based on the experience from many other developmental projects, the experience so far of Niger, and the contributions from many experts and agencies, the Smart Villages approach stands as a promising solution to the barriers that have to date impeded the implementation and the scale-up of initiatives for ICT-enabled rural development. The Smart Villages Blueprint has been prepared to provide a step-by-step guidance for transforming remote rural settlements into smart villages and delivering the much-needed services and tools to their populations.​


The objectives of the webinar are to:
·      Introduce participants to the Smart Villages approach;
·      Provide a platform for sharing the recommendations of the blueprint;
·      Explore the possibilities to expand (additional services) and upscale (increase the number of villages and move to operation) the pilot in Niger;
·      Explore the possibilities to launch smart villages projects in different areas of the world;
·      Explore the possibilities to establish an «Advisory Board on Smart Village».

The webinar will discuss what, based on the experience of Niger, are the key, fundamental steps to be taken to build a smart village and will provide an overview of the lessons learnt so far to implement and scale such project and the role of different stakeholders including national entities and sectoral ministries, development partners, donors, NGOs and the private sector.


25 June 2020, 14h00-15h30 Geneva time

15 min​

Welcome remarks​
•   Doree​​n Bogdan, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), ITU
•   H.E. Mr Ibrahima Guimba Saidou, Minister special advisor to the President and Director General of the National Agency for the Information Society (ANSI), Niger
•   Short video from Niger Smart Villages project
2 min
Introduction by Moderator
60 min in total​
Interventions by Guest Speakers​
•   H.E Abdul Halim Iskandar, Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Indonesia
•   Mr. Anang Latif, President Director of BAKTI (Accessibility and Information Agency), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology Indonesia
•   Financing Smart Villages, Tara Sharafudheen, World Bank
•   Smart Villages to fight against poverty and Hunger, Maximo Torero, FAO
•   Whole-of-Government approach for digital investments, Kate Wilson, DIAL
•   Rural connectivity for development, Sibesh Bhattacharya, Asian Development Bank
•   Connecting schools as a gateway for rural development, Sunita Grote, UNICEF
•   Community Networks, Mike Jensen, Association for Progressive Communications, APC
•   Technologies and business models for rural connectivity, Mike Lubin, Viasat
10 min
3 min Wrap up and conclusion​