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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Yunus to address Telecom World @ Hong Kong

The 2006 Nobel peace prize laureate and founder, Grameen Bank, Prof. Muhammad Yunus, has been slated to address participants at the opening session of the International Telecomunication Union (ITU) organised Telecom World-06, which takes place in Hong Kong early next month.

ITU said that the event scheduled for December 3, would afford Prof. Yunus the opportunity to make relevant industry-based pronouncements.

A press statement from ITU, said that as one of the inspirational leaders and early supporters of ITU's Connect the World initiative, Prof. Yunus is expected to make proclamations on some milestones in the programme which aims at bridging the digital divide and "connect the unconnected by 2015".

With the theme, "Living the Digital World", Telecom World-06, ITU said the subject matter will be thoroughly explored at the weeklong event.

Earlier this year when receiving the ITU World Information Society Award, Prof. Yunus had called on the global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies to work with governments, non-governmental and international organizations to develop technology and business models to transform ICT towards an income generating tool by the populace, mostly the poor.

"I got interested in information and communication technology because I saw this as a powerful way to help poor people, particularly poor women, out of poverty, very fast," Yunus said, stressing that he also saw how micro credit could bridge the gap between the poor and ICT.

According to him, what is needed at the moment is a business model where ICT could become an income-generating activity to the poor.

At the forthcoming opening ceremony, the out-going Secretary-General of ITU, Mr Yoshio Utsumi, will introduce Prof. Yunus to the assembly of industry leaders, government officials and the media.

Mr. Utsumi also said that that Telecom World would explore the concept of shared digital resources for access to the vast wealth of the world's knowledge, culture, education and learning, while Prof. Yunus offers the first-hand knowledge of the achievements made through technology in developing countries.

“We congratulate him on his award from the Nobel Foundation and we are delighted that he will join us on stage at ITU Telecom World," Utsumi said.

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