Published On: Thu, Jun 16th, 2016

OAS and private sector to boost digital connectivity in the Americas

OASSANTO DOMINGO - The Organization of American States (OAS), several leading companies in the field of information and communications technologies (ICTs), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and a group of universities from across the region on Tuesday signed the “2030 ICT Alliance for the Americas” to expand connectivity in the region and to democratize the preparation of young people for participating in the modern economy.

The 2030 ICT Alliance for the Americas initiative is to be implemented by the OAS’s Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). The agreement is a corollary to the forum “ICTs and the eradication of poverty in the Americas: The role of public-private partnerships,” organized by the OAS and the government of the Dominican Republic in its capacity as chair of the Permanent Executive Committee of CITEL on the occasion of the OAS General Assembly.

The secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, emphasized that “it is vital that we give our young people the opportunity to compete, that our citizens are able to access high-technology services. At the present time, democratizing access to them is an essential mechanism for expanding more rights for more people.”

The project is aligned with the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and it seeks to provide internet access to 1.5 billion people across the world by the year 2020; to ensure that all public schools in the Americas are connected to the internet over the coming 15 years; and to strengthen democratic participation in the Americas through ICTs.

The companies participating in the project are, to date, Millicom, CISCO, América Móvil, and Telefónica. ECLAC has also joined the initiative.

Companies’ commitments under the 2030 ICT Alliance

The commitments entered into by the companies as a part of the ICT Alliance include:

• Providing technological training for a million young people over the next six years.

• Establishing, on its platform, an area for strategic training in education and digital democracy.
• Organizing, in conjunction with the OAS, a competition for young mobile app entrepreneurs.
• Certifying, in conjunction with the OAS, teachers’ digital education skills.
• Providing digital suitcases with materials for unconnected rural schools.

• Developing a sustainable digital education program for vulnerable groups in all the countries where it does business.
• Organizing educational programs about on-line security for children and adults.
• Providing network connectivity to 2,100 educational establishments in Latin America.

América Móvil:
• Expanding broadband access with rural coverage in cities with more than 5,000, 20,000, and 50,000 inhabitants.
• Through the OAS, opening up the Carlos Slim Foundation’s e-training platform to the member states and creating country-specific job banks.
• Providing the American states, through the OAS, with access to free on-line training in technical trades.

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