Akaliza Keza Ntwari from Rwanda and Nanjira Sambili From Kenya have been appointed by the UN Secretary General to High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation co-chaired
The Panel was tasked to contribute to the broader public debate on the importance of cooperative and interdisciplinary approaches to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future for all taking into account relevant human rights norms.
The panel is expected to identify policy, research and information gaps, and make proposals to strengthen international cooperation in the digital space.
According to Mr. Guterres, the UN Secretary General, « The scale, spread and speed of change made possible by digital technologies is unprecedented, but the current means and levels of international cooperation are unequal to the challenge… » .
He added that « Digital technologies make a significant contribution to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and they cut uniquely across international boundaries. Therefore, cooperation across domains and across borders is critical to realizing the full social and economic potential of digital technologies as well as mitigating the risks that they pose and curtailing any unintended consequences. »
While Jack Ma said that : “Soon, every industry will be digitized, and this will have a tremendous impact on every aspect of life. In this digital era, data and technology are more broadly available, enabling entrepreneurialism, economic growth, and improved quality of life for those who have the access and training to leverage it. Global, cross-sector collaboration is critical to ensure the benefits of the digital era are possible for all.”
Prior to her appointment, Ms Akaliza Akaliza is a young Rwandan ICT advocate and entrepreneur. She has been described as “one of the few young Rwandan women who have made significant strides in changing the face of technology in the country” and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community.
She has been active in promoting the field to girls and has been recognised for her activism by awards from the Rwandan government and the International Telecommunication Union.
The Kenyan, Sambili is Currently, the Digital Equality Advisory Manager at the World Web foundation. She spearheads the promotion of digital equality access to and use of the web, with a specific focus on women’s online work rights.
She is also a member of UK Citizens Online Democracy (mySociety), DFID’s Digital advisory panel and a board member at IRIN news. In the past, she worked for ihub in Nairobi where she was tasked with providing strategic guidance for growth of technology innovation research in the East African region.
She also served as a deputy on the United Nation High-Level panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment.
The Panel will hold its first in-person meeting in late September 2018 and is expected to submit its final report to the Secretary-General within 9 months.
In carrying out its work, the Panel will undertake a wide range of public consultations, including at least two public events and an open process inviting global inputs including through online engagement activities starting in September. It will be supported by a small Secretariat funded by donor resources, and based in New York and Geneva.
By Melinda Gates and Jack Ma
The Express News