In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt. 1,58 billion students could no longer go to school, millions of people started working from home, and telecommunications and Internet infrastructure came under tremendous pressure as people shifted their lives online. For many, the presence of ubiquitous and high-speed Internet meant that much of life could continue, albeit in an altered format. Distance learning, telemedicine, and telecommuting allowed people to continue their main activities, to remain somehow safe from the virus and to avoid an interruption of learning and development. But for half the world, this crisis meant major setbacks, so big, that they could even reverse progress made on the attainment of the SDGs, in particular those related to education, gender equality, peace and inclusive societies.

Furthermore, achieving the SDGs cannot be done in isolation. It requires a global partnership of multiple stakeholders. SDG 17 itself seeks to " strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development"; this is why the ITU has identified Partnerships as one of the 6 enablers that can help accelerate connectivity for sustainable development. The first session of the Road to Addis Series aimed to explore and reshape the principles and foundations of Partnerships, their genesis, success factors and pitfalls to avoid.

The session answered the following questions:

1.How can Partnerships be made more effective for advancing connectivity and achieving the SDGs? and

2.How can Partnerships help us to support those who are further behind and safeguard the investments made to date to achieve those goals?

The session:

  • Motivated participants to engage in new partnerships for connectivity to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.
  • Reflected on successful partnerships and identify major gaps requiring new partnerships.
  • Explored and reshaped the principles and foundations of partnerships.​​


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


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

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Road to Addis: Episode 2

Partner to Connect: Rethinking Partnerships and their role in accelerating connectivity for sustainable development

  2 February, 2021, 13:30 – 14:3​0 CEST