Newsletter Issue No.1 2021

This January the Broadband Commission launched the Universal Connectivity Campaign, illustrating ‘10 Reasons We Need Universal Connectivity’. This campaign draws connections between the many reasons we need to connect the unconnected and the work of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development and its Working Groups. Each reason ties directly to a related publication of the Commission.  

To join in the sharing of the campaign, you can use the resources created here!

Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton 

Executive Director, ITC

Pamela Coke-Hamilton has served as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre since 1 October 2020. She joined ITC from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), where she was Director of the Division on International Trade and Commodities. 

Ms. Coke-Hamilton has a breadth of experience and expertise in trade-related capacity-building and sustainable development. She served with the Jamaican Government, the Caribbean Forum in trade negotiations, and multilateral institutions, including the Organization of American States and InterAmerican Development Bank. She previously served as Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, strengthening the private sector and micro, small and medium enterprises through investment promotion.

She has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by vulnerable economies such as the small island developing States and least developed countries. Ms. Coke-Hamilton has worked extensively with the private sector across African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and academia to build trade-related institutional strength within member States. She also established the Women Empowered through Export (WeXport) platform to address the disadvantages that women-owned firms experience in accessing markets. 
Ms. Coke-Hamilton holds a Juris Doctor in Law from the Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, DC, and a BSc in International Relations and Economics from the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

Mr. Ralph Mupita 

CEO, MTN Group

Ralph Mupita, has been appointed as the new group president and CEO with effect from 1 September 2020. Ralph has served as the MTN Group CFO since April 2017 and has played a critical role in the development and execution of the group’s strategy, capital allocation processes, financial performance as well as in the resolution of a number of complex regulatory matters. Ralph is a graduate of the University of Cape Town with a degree in Engineering and an MBA. Prior to joining MTN Group, Ralph was the CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets for five years, a business that provided financial services to individuals and corporates across 19 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, managing over R1 trillion of customer assets under management at the time. 

On the 25th of January 2021, UNESCO’s celebrates International Day of Education with three panel discussions on the importance of education.

Panel 1: Celebrating “Learning Heroes”; Shed light on “heroes” who kept education going in hard circumstance: a conversation on what worked, what failed and what they would do differently with hindsight. 
Panel 2: Promising innovations to transform education; Shed light on innovations, whether they be in terms of pedagogy, technology, partnership or on other fronts that pave the way towards more resilient and inclusive education systems. 
Panel 3: Financing the education transformation; The effects of the pandemic on government education budgets, household and donor funding are expected to put significant strains on education.

Livestream the event here! 

Check out the recent blog from Giga on how UNICEF and Tryolabs have partnered to understand how machine learning models perform by using explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) methods, improving these to better detect schools in satellite imagery to support foundational work to connect every school in the world. 

This new report examines how men and women in middle and senior management positions define leadership, with a particular focus on the gendered differences in leadership perceptions. This is critical, as perceptions of power, among other factors, affect the gender gap in leadership.

As one of its final publications of 2020, the ITU released the Last Mile Connectivity Solutions Guide. The Last-mile Internet Solutions Guide consists of guidelines that can help policymakers and professionals select and customize appropriate last-mile connectivity solutions. This guide is part of a broader Last-mile Connectivity Toolkit, which aims to drive new collaborative strategies to extend connectivity to those at the bottom of the social pyramid, and to enable key stakeholders to take a more holistic approach that treats broadband as a basic public utility and core tool for socio-economic development.

To complement this Solutions Guide, BDT is developing a range of resources to help Member States address last-mile connectivity challenges, including a database of case studies (LMC Case Studies Database) and interactive last-mile connectivity diagnostic and decision-making tools.

5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries  23-27 January 2022 

The Conference is expected to adopt a ten-year programme of action for the least developed countries (LDCs) to succeed the Istanbul Programme of Action for the LDCs (IPoA), which concludes in 2020. The goal of the that ten-year Programme was to overcome LDCs’ structural challenges in order to eradicate poverty and achieve internationally agreed development goals. The 2022 conference is expected to appraise the results and adopt a new, strengthened framework to support LDCs. 

WTDC-21  8-19 November 2021 

WTDC-21 will be a landmark digital development conference and a unique opportunity for the global community to develop innovative approaches and forge new models of collaboration to overcome digital development challenges and accelerate connectivity and digital solutions in the final Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Davos 2021 25-29 January 2021 

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that no institution or individual alone can address the economic, environmental, social and technological challenges of our complex, interdependent world. The pandemic itself will not transform the world, but it has accelerated systemic changes that were apparent before its inception. The fault lines that emerged in 2020 now appear as critical crossroads in 2021. The time to rebuild trust and to make crucial choices is fast approaching as the need to reset priorities and the urgency to reform systems grow stronger around the world.

The Davos Agenda is a pioneering mobilization of global leaders to shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed in this challenging new context. It is essential for leaders from all walks of life to work together virtually for a more inclusive, cohesive and sustainable future as soon as possible in 2021. To this end, the World Economic Forum has served for more than 50 years as a trusted platform where leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society and academia convene to address critical issues at the start of each year.

HLPF 2021  6-15 July 2021

The theme of this year’s HLPF is “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.

The HLPF in 2021 will discuss Sustainable Development Goals 1 on no poverty, 2 on zero hunger, 3 on good health and well-being, 8 on decent work and economic growth, 10 on reduced inequalities, 12 on responsible consumption and production, 13 on climate action, 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, and 17 on partnerships in depth. The Forum will also consider the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.