“We need to involve every sector in the technology industry in order to help close the digital and education divide and build an inclusive future for everyone”, said César Alierta, chairman of ProFuturo, at the “Digital Everyone” forum at ITU Telecom World 2018.
César Alierta took part in the “Digital Everyone” forum at the ITU Telecom World 2018 event, held between 10 and 13 September in the city of Durban, South Africa. The chairman of ProFuturo urged the telecommunications sector in Africa to join forces and bring digital education to schools in vulnerable environments.
ITU (International Telecommunications Union) is the United Nations agency for Information and Communication Technology that seeks to encourage governments, companies and technology SMEs to commit to social and economic improvement worldwide through innovation and technology. ProFuturo’s participation in ITU Telecom World 2018, currently taking place in South Africa, offers an exceptional opportunity to raise awareness of the Foundation’s work, particularly in Africa, before an audience of representatives from all over the African continent.
ProFuturo was invited to take part in one of the sessions because of interest in its work toward seeking solutions for closing the digital divide in vulnerable countries and disadvantaged environments.
Alierta described the challenge of connecting the half of the world’s population that has no access to Internet, and its importance for inclusive social and economic growth.“According to our data, an increase of only 10% in the level of digitization of the economy could mean a 40% rise in a country’s gross domestic product”.
The chairman also stressed the use of “technology for doing good” and ProFuturo’s role in this challenge. On this point, he said that “the digital revolution can radically transform the educational landscape for millions of children in vulnerable environments. We have a solution to equip children and teachers in vulnerable settings with 21st century skills that will enable them to access the opportunities offered by the digital revolution”.
César Alierta also noted that up to the end of 2017, 5.7 million children from 24 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have benefited from the ProFuturo program. “Our aim is to reach ten million children by 2020 and 25 million by 2030”, said the ProFuturo chairman.
“We have a solution to equip children and teachers in vulnerable settings with 21st century skills that will enable them to access the opportunities offered by the digital revolution”, says César Alierta
The value of partnerships
ProFuturo is the result of the partnership between two major organizations with a social vocation: Fundación Telefónica, also presided by César Alierta, and the “La Caixa” Banking Foundation, headed by Isidro Fainé. Alierta underlined the importance of creating public and private partnerships to contribute to the common good. “We need to pool our efforts to drastically change the current landscape and close the education divide in more disadvantaged communities”.
The chairman of ProFuturo concluded his talk with some hopeful predictions for the future of digital education. “If we work together, we will have good reason to be optimistic about the future and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030”.