New IT project shows development in Uganda
Ralph Van Hessen visits Uganda to see IT progress
Six months after the World Congress on Information Technology in Amsterdam, CEO Mr. Ralph Van Hessen visited Uganda on behalf of Ms Elizabeth Mukasa, winner of the WCIT 2010 Challenge of Change award. Van Hessen was invited to witness her progress in the field of eInclusion. He spoke at the launch of a new IT project which is partially funded by the organization of WCIT 2010.
The contribution of Ms Mukasa has ensured that a lot of individuals and communities can now participate in the information society in Uganda. Rather than copying business models from 1st world nations, which is often the case, she successfully launched her own business model (The Opra Learning Centre) based on local Uganda circumstances. Sylvia Roelofs, Managing Director of ICT~Office is very impressed by Ms Mukasa’s results: “Ms Mukasa’s latest initiative is a perfect example of the essence of what WCIT 2010 was all about”. Ralph Van Hessen strongly believes that this is one of the reasons of her success: “By stimulating entrepreneurship, cooperation and the role of ICT to solve problems in the society, Ms Mukasa found all the ingredients on how IT can enable change and innovation in Uganda”.
Ralph van Hessen was invited to attend the launch of the USSIA-ICT project (Uganda Small Scale Industries Association), a local partnership between Ms Mukasa’s Opra Learning Centre and the USSIA. The USSIA is an organization with the aim to create a forum and structures for supporting and enhancing IT growth in the small scale industrial sector of Uganda. The project offers small-to-medium enterprises (SME’s) to participate in the information society of Uganda. Through the help of this project people get access to IT and will learn how to use it. The goal of the project is to considerably raise the number of SME’s having access to IT in the next five years.
Declaration of Amsterdam
During the closing session of WITSA's 17th World Congress on IT (WCIT 2010) in Amsterdam the Declaration of Amsterdam was presented by Minister Van der Hoeven (Economic Affairs).
The Declaration of Amsterdam, subtitled 'The Digital Road to Recovery', spells out commitments to direct the use of ICT to stimulate economic growth and address key societal challenges such as climate change, healthcare and quality of life. To address these challenges in a full and timely manner, the intelligent use of information and communication technologies (ICT) is an important enabler. The Declaration provides a strong support for the development of ICT which is important because ICT is a crucial factor on the way to global economic recovery.
According to Minister Van der Hoeven "it is important to turn the Declaration of Amsterdam and its messages into action". As an interesting example she mentioned the way the ICT-sector in the Netherlands together with the government wants to reduce the CO2 footprint of the ICT-sector. "More of these public private partnerships are necessary," according to Van den Hoeven. To turn the Declaration into action the WCIT website doa.wcit2010.org contains an Action Forum to engage a wide range of stakeholders. The results provide input for a process that will continue beyond Amsterdam, towards the next WCIT in 2012 in Montreal, Canada. According to Henk Broeders (chairman ICT~Office) about 70 interesting projects have been submitted since the opening of the website, which can make a difference in making better use of ICT to fulfill its promises.
The Declaration of Amsterdam and its Call for Action is a first step towards implementing the Granada Ministerial Declaration and the EU Digital Agenda and will be recommended for support by the G20 countries at their summit in June 2010 in Toronto, Canada. The declaration is supported by among others: ICT-office, The City of Amsterdam, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Spanish presidency of the EU and the European Commission.
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Keep on networking
For those who have activated their WCIT 2010 matchmaking account, you can still make use of this network. We facilitate it until 3 months after the event. Connect with the person you've missed during the event or maybe the person who's business card wound up missing.
HRH the Prince of Orange
Internet protocol for schools
During his speech at the WCIT HRH The Prince of Orange said that unlike other countries, there are currently no compulsory internet protocols in The Netherlands for schools to guide pupils, teachers and parents in their everyday dealings with the digital world. He and his wife, princess Maxima would appreciate a strong message on how to do the right thing. He added:”The introduction of practical and uniform internet protocols in schools might be just the message that’s needed, and I would strongly recommend it”.
The human factor
HRH The Prince of Orange further stated that human nature, rather than technology, bears primary responsibility in dealing with information. Technology in itself does not distinguish between good and bad information: consumers do – or at least they should. It is human beings who determine whether IT is used in a way that empowers and emancipates, or distracts and misleads – or worse. Humans should remain in control.
Visiting WCIT 2010
HRH The Prince of Orange
Ralph van Hessen (CEO WCIT 2010 Organization), HRH the Prince of Orange and Sylvia Roelofs (CEO ICT~Office) are posing informally with the two congress mascottes after a roundtour of the Pavilions.
Mr Ros Peran
How the recent Iceland ash problem highlighted the potential of ICT
Mr Ros Peran commented on how the recent Iceland ash problem highlighted the current and future potential of ICT. The ash problem resulted in many tele- and videoconferences being held all over the world, as people in far places connected in the virtual world. This same application of ICT was seen in an EU meeting in Madrid that took place during the ash problem. ICT can clearly be used to reduce carbon emissions, as events can take place without the need for people to travel. The state secretary said that the EU digital agenda is the backbone of the EU 2020 strategy. The agenda is about EU’s competitiveness and productivity in a global economy.
We are happy to inform you that over 2,500 delegates from 90 countries have visited WCIT 2010.
Digital Competitiveness Report
On May 26th (Day 2 of WCIT 2010) Mr. Detlef Eckert, Director Lisbon Strategy - European Commission, has presented the Competitiveness Report.
The Digital Competitiveness Report analyses recent developments in important policy areas of the European information society and provides a significant evidence base for the European Digital Agenda – the European Commission's policy framework in the digital area and one of Europe 2020's flagships.
This year's report focuses on main developments in the area of broadband, use of internet services and eCommerce, the digital divide, online public services, the economic impact of ICT and the ICT sector. The report benchmarks EU Member States' relative performance and, where possible, with other major non-European economies such as US, Japan and Korea.
In 2009, the European digital economy has continued to grow in size and scope, with 60% of the EU population now using the internet on a regular basis. Broadband, is available to more than 90% of the EU population, and is accessed by 56% of households and 83% of enterprises. The growth in the popularity of social networks and online videos, with 80 million people having uploaded self-created content over the year, has changed the way people are entertained and informed, with large social and economic impacts.
Closing Ceremony WCIT 2010
Elizabeth Mukasa awarded with WCIT 2010 Award for IT platform
The most significant role model and therefore the winner of the ' WCIT 2010 Give Challenge a Change Award’ is Elizabeth Mukasa. Mrs. Mukasa developed a platform that is qualitative, integrated and affordable in Uganda. To enhance meaningful inclusion she innovated localized elearning materials in local language (luganda) appropriate to the understanding of their target groups. Tuition fees were minimal and sometimes zero to the vulnerable women students. The usage of her platform helped entrepreneurs to set up their businesses. On top of this Mrs. Mukasa helped over 100 people to connect in order to improve accessibility to digital and information technology, thereby making a valuable contribution to bridging the Digital Divide.
During WCIT 2010 delegates addressed global impact issues regarding economic and social development and exchange policies and ideas on how ICT can enable change and innovation in all parts of the world. For that reason the organization wanted to highlight the best example at this congress that embodies the heart of the congress. Mrs. Mukasa: “While I do appreciate this, the question remains how can Africa be helped to bridge the digital divide basically caused by the velocity of technology development? Special thanks to the eInclusion track secretary Olivier Zwolsman who ensured my presence. It was a great honor for me and my nation Uganda. Africa continues to depend on friends like you.”
Minister Maria van der Hoeven
Together we can!
Minister Maria van der Hoeven: “Let’s make ICT work for a better world. Together we can!”
Maria van der Hoeven, the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs said she felt both honored and humbled when she presented the Declaration of Amsterdam and its Call for Action during the Closing session of WCIT 2010 Amsterdam. Honored, because the Declaration sets ambitious yet attainable goals, and humbled, because it is the joint achievement of the European Commission, the Spanish EU presidency, the industry (represented by ICT-Office and WITSA), several Dutch ministries, including hers, and of course the committees that prepared the conference tracks. And she is proud that the Declaration bears the name of the capital of the Netherlands, home to the largest internet hub and the most powerful research network in the world.
The minister said to be thrilled to announce that almost seventy initiatives have already been posted on the WCIT website in the past four weeks. The Initiatives come from all over the world, both from private and public parties, dealing with many of the issues addressed by the Declaration.
She mentioned the Kenyan Ministry of Finance’s initiative to launch a broad programme stimulating the roll-out of mobile broadband and so enhancing the use of ICT to improve education and health in rural communities. She also mentioned last year’s contest by the Australian government, MashupAustralia, to demonstrate the benefits of open access to public sector information.
The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs will continue to promote the Declaration of Amsterdam. The Canadian ICT industry and government will remain in close involved in the process, building a bridge between Amsterdam and Montreal, the host of the 18th WCIT in 2012.
She concluded by saying: “Let’s make ICT work for a better world. Together we can!”
'Good morning, buddies'
Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission, opened with an unusual “Good morning, buddies”, indicating the importance of cooperation. She stated that 50% of the productivity growth in Europe is due to ICT. She spoke about Europe being “the world’s largest broken economy”. A broken society that needed to be fixed, and how ICT should be harnessed to repair it. She stated that the EU was lagging behind other areas of the world in IT due its aging population. She said that ICT and innovativeness require a young population and constant stream of new ideas – a characteristic in decline in Europe. She recounted an anecdote about her interaction with 800 young European entrepreneurs in Madrid, and how that experience highlighted the challenges that lie ahead for Europe. Since IT affected many areas, she was not only EU commissioner for the digital agenda but also for “survival and productivity”.
Interests of Delegates
Here a nice datavisualization by Your Neighbours about interests of deletages at WCIT 2010.
'Education is the basis for innovation'
And: 'Innovation is combining people and investment.' @ WCIT 2010
During the second day of the congress, on average every Delegate who visited the congress also visited the Matchmaking network. It shows the digital Matchmaking is perceived as a great benefit to the congress. A big advantage for all Delegates is the fact that the network will be available till three months after the event to look for contacts and business opportunities.