Technology is an enabler and a driving tool for LDCs to achieve SDGs—MACRA Director General
After an interface meeting that President Lazarus Chakwera and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) had on Monday with Secretary General for International Telecommunication Union (ITU) — on the side lines of the fifth UN least developed countries (LDC5) conference in Doha — MACRA Director General, Daud Suleman said technology is an enabler and a driving tool for LDC’s to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Suleman said LDCs have made some progress towards achieving the universal access to affordability of the internet, but need more assistance to bring about the advancement towards meeting the targets — particularly the universal coverage of the basic services in all areas of development.
He said Malawi can build a strong partnership with the ITU to achieve a number of SDGs whereby Malawi is focusing on six priority areas of the Doha Programme of Action.
He said LDCs are still facing ICT challenges and that they are working towards achieving universal access to affordable internet, hence the need for ITU to come in.
“As you know, Malawi is one of the LDCs struggling in getting people to be connected to the internet,” Suleman further said. “We also have issues of high data prices; internet devices are expensive and there is a rise in cyber bulling — those are issues which are already on the table on the ITU.
“President Chakwera presented the issues to the ITU so that we can form a strong partnership between Malawi and ITU so that we can create a more sustainable and safe online digital space in the best interest of Malawians.”
Suleman added that MACRA has requested for assistance from ITU for expertise on how to deal with the new laws and new crimes that are coming in the digital.
“We believe if this is achieved we can finalise our data protection so that we create a safer online space for women and children as well as everyone else who have access to Internet,” he said.
In her remarks ITU Secretary General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin said digital technology expands opportunity to the nations with new skills of development in all areas of life — hence the need to support Malawi to achieve the SDGs.
She said the opportunity to meet Chakwera was of great importance and will help to boost Malawi’s technology system for the betterment of the locals at the grassroots level.
“The potential is there but we are concerned with the gaps — especially the access to advanced technologies and capacities to adopt technologies by low income nations hence the need to strengthen the international collaboration,” Bogdan-Martin said.
Malawi is working towards the six priorities areas that includes the pillar of science, technology and innovation to achieve the Doha Programme of Action, which was launched last year at the United Nations LDC conference in New York.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :