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Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance for Digital Development

Accelerating Digital Transformation for Sustainable Development

Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable digital future for all.
Dr Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava Dr Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava – Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau
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Support BDT and ITU-D Membership with new, more resilient, and forward-thinking approaches to guarantee they can safely navigate a digital world that is increasingly Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) and achieve outcomes of the Kigali Action Plan.
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The new Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance for Digital Development initiated by the BDT Director will:

• Build local capabilities in innovation and entrepreneurship
• Develop new organizational and human excellence capabilities
• Deliver new products and services for ITU Membership
• Strengthen the engagement of ITU Membership in the critical work of BDT.
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The Alliance offers a new approach to:

• Bridge the Digital Innovation Divide and empowering ITU-D membership to overcome challenges on their path through digital transformation
• Accelerate their ecosystems’ impact on cross-cutting sectors for an inclusive and sustainable society.

The Alliance will enable transformational projects fostering digital innovation and entrepreneurship for national, regional and global impact.
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Who is this Alliance for?

The Alliance will unite:
• Government ministries and specialized agencies, including national regulatory authorities and innovation agencies
• Industry & private sector players from the ICT & digital sectors
• Academia and the R&D community
• Non-governmental & community-based organizations, and civil society
• International and intergovernmental organizations
• Development banks and donors

from among ITU-D Membership and beyond.


Many developing countries aspire to become innovation-driven digital economies based on world-class exports, high-growth industries and highly skilled talent. Despite massive investments in information and communication technologies (ICTs), entrepreneurship and innovation, many struggle to:

Adapt to the fast-changing digital environment
Become an effective adopter of emerging digital technologies
Become a driver of digital innovation that creates socio-economic impact
Leverage entrepreneurship-driven digital innovation as a driver of job creation
Gain access to a network of likeminded changemakers and their best practices
Develop innovative local, regional or global partnerships toaccelerate digital development
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Bridging The Digital Innovation Divide

BDT has been active in bridging the digital innovation
divide since 2015, but the fast-evolving digital environment requires enhancing further national capacities and scaling up the impact of projects to achieve the digital ambition of stakeholders.

Countries can benefit from cutting-edge approaches to digital innovation, which entail developing locally appropriate capabilities through experimentation and flagship initiatives to nurture an enabling digital environment.

The Alliance will fast-track five strategic objectives to accelerate countries’ journey towards an innovation-driven digital economy. Objectives
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Building Innovation Capacity At Global And Local Levels

The Alliance will help strengthen countries’ capabilities
to integrate ICT innovation into national development
agendas and build human and institutional capabilities at
the country level where it is most relevant and sustainable.

The Alliance will operationalize the needed capabilities
through three main vehicles:

1. A Digital Transformation Lab
2. A Network of Acceleration Centres
3. A Digital Innovation Board
The Three Main Vehicles

How Can An ITU Acceleration Centre Catalyze Your Country’s Journey Towards An Innovation-Driven Digital Economy?

Through especially designed initiatives based on the desired strategic objectives, a centre can, for example:

  • Equip your organization with strategic foresight, knowledge and competencies to nurture digital innovation
  • Showcase and scale the potential of a vibrant technological ecosystem and innovative SMEs to regional and global markets
  • Turn a technical or research-based academic institution into an entrepreneurial university
  • Catalyze talent readiness for high-skilled digital jobs
  • Accelerate your digital policy development cycle to create a favorable environment for investment
  • Enhance collaboration between academic, government, private sector, financiers, startups and civil society
  • Unleash synergies between initiatives, breakdown silos and align stakeholders to a national or regional digital development agenda
  • Amplify your digital ecosystem impact at the regional or global level
  • Improve the competitiveness of the digital sectors