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  • Davos, Switzerland  22 January 2019
    Will it be business as usual?

    Connecting the remaining 3.7 billion people: will it be business as usual? 

    I asked this question at the Word Economic Forum during a breakout session on the push to 100% connectivity. I was one of the session firestarters, together with Rob Schuter, CEO of MTN Group and Robert Nkuna, DG of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services of South Africa. 

    As Director of BDT and Coordinator of the Broadband Commission on Sustainable Development, I believe that a global coalition can be a game-changer in the push to 100% connectivity by developing new types of partnerships, business and investment models. 

    We need to collaborate and adopt an inclusive collaborative approach across sectors and initiatives: cooperation of all stakeholders throughout the value chain is a must. The key word for me is people. I am inspired by the positive impact of technologies.

    In our push for 100% connectivity, we must put people at the centre of our actions. Today there is clear evidence of the positive social and economic impact of being connected. An example from Africa: telecommunications revenues represented on average 3% of GDP in recent years. A 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration yields an additional increase of 2.5% in GDP per capita. A 10% drop in prices will boost adoption by more than 3%. 

    We know that Investments in broadband and regulation have an impact but we need to coordinate our efforts more efficiently to reach 100% connectivity. It is not business as usual!