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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Global tech community drum support for universal internet access by 2020

 ITRealms

Prominent leaders from the global development community, technology industry, the arts and entertainment have joined an unprecedented call for world leaders to implement the promise within the newly agreed Global Goals that universal internet access become a reality by 2020, ITRealms reports.

The leaders of 193 nations formally adopted the Global Goals for Sustainable Development at the United Nations, Friday, after years of negotiation. The Goals aim to fight inequality, protect our planet, and end extreme poverty by 2030. The Connectivity Declaration draws attention to target 9.c of the Global Goals demanding internet access for all in the Least-Developed Countries by 2020.

ITRealms gathered that the Global Goals build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, which helped cut malaria deaths in half, reduced new HIV infections by 40 per cent, saved millions of children’s lives, and contributed to a worldwide decline in extreme poverty of more than 50 per cent.

The co-founder and global executive director of ONE, Jamie Drummond, in a press release said, “Internet access is a catalyst for creating a world of greater freedom, fairness and dignity for all peoples, everywhere. Every country must now agree on urgent plan to implement the Global Goals, and mission-critical within those strategies is connectivity for all. The Pope and Malala have spoken eloquently about the one world and one family we’re all a part of, and the internet, at its best, facilitates that unity. But when three billion are left beyond the internet, they are left behind and left out of that family. That must change and fast.”

The Connectivity Declaration, ITRealms also reports, has already been signed by: the Action/2015 coalition, Charlize Theron for Africa Outreach Project, Judith Owigar for AkiraChix, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bill and Melinda Gates for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Richard Branson, Erik Hersman for BRCK, Niall Dunne for BT, Danny Sriskandarajah for Civicus, Denis O’Brien for Digicel, Jeff Sachs for Earth Institute.

Others include Hans Vestberg for Ericsson, Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook, Hugh Evans for Global Citizen, Arianna Huffington, Josiah Mugambi for iHub, Ashish Thakkar for Mara Group, Mo Ibrahim for the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Bono for ONE, David Soloff for Premise, Project Everyone, Nik Hartley for Restless Development, Carolyn Miles for Save the Children, Shakira, George Takei, Chris Anderson for TED, Daudi Were for Ushahidi, Jimmy Wales, Omoyele Sowore for Sahara Reporters, Cobus de Swardt for Transparency International, Kathy Calvin for the UN Foundation, and Oluseun Onigbinde for BudgiT.

ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly seven million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, ONE raises public awareness and presses political leaders to combat preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs, ITRealms learnt.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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