Vice President of the European Commission Andrus Ansip talked to ITU on the sidelines of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17) about the importance of investment in digital development and the benefits of connectivity.
The European Commission has decided that every development project should have a digital component, and Ansip stressed the importance of paying more attention to digital development in African countries as well as the European Union.
Ansip is particularly supportive of digital development in African countries, because digital public services, which are more transparent, are more inclusive if people are better informed.
With regard to the merits of e-services, Ansip referenced the benefits of digital IDs in India, which have enabled the elimination of middlemen when paying state allowances to cities – thereby saving the government 8 billion USD per year.
As for the EU and ITU working together, Ansip said he places particular emphasis on connectivity as the basis when talking about digital developments, and notes that connectivity is quite often related to ongoing issues regarding spectrum.
Andrus Ansip hopes to strengthen the cooperation with ITU, in particular with regard to supporting digital development in developing countries.
“I hope more and more people will understand that it’s not enough to provide development aid only to deal with survival issues – whether drinking water, food, roads, democracy. Of course – this is needed, but we have to invest also into digital in developing countries.”
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