The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) held the Eighth World Telecommunication Development Conference 2022 (WTDC-22) in Kigali, Rwanda, from June 6-16, 2022. The theme of the conference was “Connecting the unconnected to achieve sustainable development”. WTDC-22 brought together more than 2,152 participants, in a hybrid format (1,304 in-person and 848 virtually).
The provisional final report of the said conference offers us an overview of the various topics addressed, which are related to the impact of telecommunications on the development of nations.
“Access to high-speed Internet has not kept up with the fast pace of digital transformation, and the digitization of the economy in general. If such inequalities are left unchecked, development will accelerate more and more in some parts of the world, while elsewhere it slows down. The numbers speak for themselves. One-third of the world remains offline, and the majority are women in developing countries.” — Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
According to the report, the Kigali Call to Action comprises:
– New and revised Resolutions and Recommendations.
– Regional Initiatives for Africa, the Americas, the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Europe. Regional initiatives have
intended to address specific telecommunications/ICT priority areas
through partnerships and resource mobilization to implement projects that
are part of the Action Plan.
– New and revised Questions to be studied by ITU-D study groups.
During WTDC-22, several initiatives and reports were presented, of which the following stood out:
a. The first Generation Connect Global Youth Summit, intended to mobilize young digital development leaders, was held June 2-4, 2022. A Generation Connect Youth Call to Action “My Digital Future” was presented during such an event.
b. The Partner2Connect (P2C) Digital Development Roundtable, held as part of the conference on June 7-9, 2022
c. The Global Connectivity Report 2022 shows that despite the progress made in the last 30 years, 2.9 billion people in the world still do not have access to the Internet.