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Build partnerships to grow investment in ICTs, Taylor tells Commonwealth community

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Nigeria’s Shola Taylor, on Tuesday called on delegates at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Commonwealth ICT Investment Forum for Emerging Markets (Commonwealth ICT Invest’17) to invest in ICTs

He said the aim is to achieve the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals and connect the next billion to the benefits of the Internet.

In a statement sent to Business Hilights from the event venue in Dubai, Taylor averred that “Insufficient investment in ICTs, and in particular in affordable technologies, has resulted in significant gaps in access to the Internet between Commonwealth countries”.

“It is well acknowledged that ICTs play a crucial role in national socio-economic development and Commonwealth ICT Invest’17 was convened in order to discuss opportunities for investment in emerging markets and also to facilitate partnerships and collaboration.

“The exceptionally high-level calibre of participants at this forum clearly indicates that the international community is well aware of the challenges and opportunities presented by the lack of investment in ICTs.

He further noted that “They are clearly demonstrating their commitment to seizing these opportunities and moving forward to develop their ICT sectors for the benefit of their countries, companies, peoples, the Commonwealth and beyond.”

Held in Dubai, the heart of the modern investment world, Commonwealth ICT Invest’17 is hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE. The event will feature discussions on issues such as regulating to attract investments, new investment mechanisms for ICTs, funding mechanisms for SMEs, start-ups and incubators and investments in ICT applications, among other topics. There will also be a number of project showcases, designed to demonstrate national projects to potential investment partnerships.

Details of the event showed that ‘Investing for the future’ was a recurrent theme of the first day. During the opening ceremony, Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer of du, urged delegates to develop policies that will not delay the realisation of tomorrow’s reality.

Gilbert Patterson, Chairman, Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago and Chairman of the CTO Council said “Investment in the ICT sector is what is most lacking when it comes to ensuring that people around the world benefit from the Internet,” adding that “We must use this event to explore together ways to attract and encourage investment in ICTs and affordable access as we all stand to gain from a world of universal access.”

Participants at the event include ICT ministers, ministry representatives and telecoms regulators, development banks, regional ICT institutions, the private sector and development agencies from Bahamas, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America.

The forum will continue until today, Wednesday, featuring discussion on innovative partnerships, investing in cybersecurity, government strategies for stimulating ICT investment and demand and more project showcases.