Over 400 participants attending ITU's Global ICT Capacity Building Symposium (CBS2016, Nairobi, 6-8 September) pledged continued commitment to education and training in information and communications technologies (ICTs) to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by leveraging major digital technology transformation.
The symposium, opened by His Excellency William Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, welcomed Ministers, Directors-General, Regulatory Authorities, academics, entrepreneurs, and students from around the world, who engaged in discussions on future priorities for capacity building, new skills requirements in a fast changing ICT environment, and new ways of learning in the digital era.
The event included a Ministerial Roundtable, a Leaders Dialogue and a high-level visit to Nairobi's largest centre of technology innovation hubs, featuring iHUB, mLAB, Gearbox, BRCK and many other leading and innovative companies in the field of ICT. The visit was hosted by the Kenyan government.
The focus on digital entrepreneurship also saw a group of young innovators take the stage during the symposium to present ground-breaking ICT innovations and show how these could improve the delivery of education and training. The CBS Young Innovator award was conferred to Duncan Mochama, business development manager of BRCK. BRCK is a Kenyan tech company known for its Kio Kit, which includes a rugged tablet which can run for 8 hours straight on a single charge and was designed for African schoolchildren to have access to digital tools for better learning.
"Tech start-ups and SMEs are a vital part of today’s fast-moving ICT ecosystem and can serve as a major driver of economic growth," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "Kenya’s success in nurturing a thriving ICT innovation culture is making it a model to follow for other developing countries looking to harness ICTs as a development catalyst."
"This Capacity Building Symposium marked the start of an important discussion on new skill requirements in the digital era, particularly in the context of working towards achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals," said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. "Kenya is today a renowned tech-hub and a model for ICT innovation. It is a great example for us and, especially, for young people and future generations of leaders in developing countries.''
Francis Wangusi, Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya and chair of the Symposium, called on participants to "take full advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience from the symposium, and the key focus areas for ICT capacity building identified in order to drive the digital revolution forward.” He presented the summary report.
The closing day of the symposium saw awards given to ITU partners in recognition of their long-standing partnership with ITU in the field of capacity building. The recipients included Cisco, the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) and the United Kingdom Telecommunications Academy (UKTA).
An exhibition showcasing capacity building projects across the world and best practices from academia and industry was also a highlight of the event.
See the summary report by the Chairman of CBS.