Capacity building is a key way to minimize the gaps between skilled and unskilled workers, between developed and developing countries and to reduce inequalities globally.
And the importance of capacity building in the context of information and communications technologies (ICTs) has never been more important – as digital skills, competencies and processes are essential in the fast-changing world of technology.
In order to tap into the potential of ICTs for sustainable development, it is crucial to build up people’s capacity to use and implement new technologies and innovative approaches to development.
This was one of the key messages in an interview with Brahima Sanou, the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) at last week’s Global ICT Capacity Building Symposium (CBS) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“Technology is meant for people and we have to make it work for people,” said Mr. Sanou. “We want to use all emerging technologies such as big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) for development.”
At this critical turning point, there must be capacity building for the new jobs to come to ensure that nobody is left behind in this development process believes Mr. Sanou.
Held for the first time in Latin America, ITU’s CBS provided a platform for experts and development practitioners from all backgrounds and regions to share and learn from each other’s experiences. Moreover, it was an opportunity to bring different perspectives to the same issue.
“That’s what capacity building is all about,” said Mr. Sanou.
And in addition to building the capacity of individuals, he pointed out, it is also necessary to build institutional capacity in order to truly make significant advances.
Mr. Sanou believes that the use of ICTs are especially important for developing countries as it can help accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in critical areas such as education, health and agriculture.
ICTs are a useful tool to help achieve all 17 of the United Nations SDGs he noted, and this gives ITU a big and exciting role to play.
He went on to say, “That means that ICT is not actually a problem, ICT is a solution.”