Efforts to boost the local information and communications technology industry in developing countries gained new ground today as UNCTAD and the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
A vibrant local ICT sector is essential to support sustainable use of ICTs throughout society.
Indeed, ICT enterprises and software developers will be called upon to develop, produce and install locally tailored solutions that are needed for ICTs to generate desired gains in relevant areas of the Post 2015 agenda.
Dr Mukhisa Kituyi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
The event took place at a ceremony at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on the occasion of the launch of UNCTAD's Information Economy Report.
The MoU was signed by Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, and Mr Santiago Gutierrez, Chairman of WITSA, who pledged to deepen collaboration between their organizations in this area of mutual interest.
The partnership comes at a fortuitous time as new information and communications technologies stand poised to transform trade and economic activities in many developing countries. But, tapping the full potential of information and communications technology (ICT) for development requires strong multi-stakeholder and cross-sectorial cooperation as well as public-private partnership.
Capitalizing on their individual strengths and competencies, the collaboration between UNCTAD and WITSA will give particular attention to activities that support and strengthen the IT sectors in developing countries, including collection and dissemination on ICT data, joint research, building the capacity of national IT and software associations, and organizing expert meeting and other event related to ICT for development.
The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is a consortium of associations from the information and communications technology (ICT) industry around the world. Representing over 90% of the world ICT market through its global membership, the organization's goal is to advance the growth and development of the ICT industry.
UNCTAD is the UN focal point on matters related to ICT sector development, e-commerce and related aspects of the digital economy. It carries out policy-oriented analytical work, promotes international dialogue on issues related to ICTs for development, and contributes to building developing countries' capacities to measure the information economy and to design and implement relevant policies, strategies and legal frameworks.