Monday, May 23, 2016

Experience at the ICT4D Conference 2016, Nairobi Kenya

Dear colleagues, it’s impossible to describe the feeling of being a part of an incredible event in a few words but this is what I am just about to share with the SCECSAL fraternity and probably beyond. I had a chance to attend this year’s 8th edition of ICT4D2016 (Information and Communications Technology for Development,   hosted by Kenya .I had a fantastic time attending the ICT4D2016 conference. Amazing event incubating a multidimensional mass of sciences, art, technologies and culture. Inspiring talks, creative vibes, excellent organization, awesome exhibition design, innovation and technologies characterized this global event in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi addressing delegates at
the opening ceremony

A very good concept, very good opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas, bringing over 1200 delegates from 300 organizations from over 80 countries together in the world, helping each other to cooperate and build bridges in the global development agenda using ICTs. The conference also brought together thought leaders and experienced professionals from around the world to share and explore ways of using ICT to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With a comprehensive and interactive programme, the conference explored the innovative approaches to Cloud Computing, VOIP, VLE and Network Provision as well as looking into what tools and applications are available to support the attainment of SDGs. Other key issues that were raised during the conference included;
The role of public-private sector partnerships in the attainment of SDGs.It was also made very clear that SDGs have to be people-centric if we are to achieve them. It was further noted that actors should be very careful when telling clients that technology is the solution. It was noted that Technology is not the ultimate solution but part of the solution a notion that all experts agreed with.
A panel of experts responding to questions during a plenary session.  
Different people need data in different ways and data is good but not important. What matters is information. There was a big suggestion that academic institutions have to be brought on board to transform this data into meaningful information. At this point, I realized the role of Library and Information professionals. The role of an Information society was also highlighted.

In summary, the event featured a moderated panel of leaders and experts from private sector, governmental and non-governmental organizations. It focused the question of whether or not the use of information and communications technology can enable regions, countries, and communities to overcome complex development challenges and actually achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Members of the press were present and were able to interact and debate fully in conference and deeply engaged the panelists. Such opportunities have to be leveraged by librarians and I urge everyone to try to seize such opportunities in future for our own benefit. Finally as SCECSAL forum, we could benchmark from such events and drive our forum to greater levels. 

1 comment:

  1. Eric, this is great. I am happy that you picked up a lot at the conference in Nairobi. You sharing with the SCECSAL community is a very good act. I hope that others will follow your example.

    The LIS sector in the SCECSAL region need to see how ICTs could be used to make it contribute to the continent's development agenda. This can only happen if the LIS professionals open up and start interacting with other related professionals, such as was your case in Nairobi.