International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development
IKED - International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development

IKED TOPICS

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..:: ICT and Empowerment
ICT and associated technologies have emerged as the prime tool replacing traditional methods applied by both the government  and private sector all around the globe to deliver a range of services and to run day-to-day businesses. However, the presence of technology infrastructure, means to buy or develop technology, technology readiness etc., vary significantly between North and South. To bridge the  gaps, countries are looking for international cooperation involving all key social spheres - government, business, local communities, NGOs, international organisations - as a means to find viable ways to learn from the experience of others in how to adopt new technology and put it to effective use in their specific local context.

Cellular technology, in particular, now presents emerging and also developing countries with a major opportunity for enhanced roll-out of ICT and a range of much needed novel applications. In this area, the technological leaders and some of the most dynamic search for new applications appear to reside outside the circle of so-called developed countries.

Over the years, IKED engaged in the ICT and empowerment agenda on multiple occasions. On the dawn of the Arab Spring, IKED was engaged by the Information Technology Institute (ITI) of Egypt, in connection with the 8th International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies (ICICT2010) in Cairo, December 13-15 2010. The topic at the time was Cloud Computing, which was viewed as a prime vehicle for offering substantial opportunities to address outstanding issues with regard to data storage and transmission, security, privacy and accountability. Responding to a special invitation, IKED organised the session addressing "ICT, Innovation and Cloud Computing: Challenges and Opportunities", with a focus on  governance, capacity building and human resource development.

The subject of Cloud Computing remains highly topical as the information society rolls on. The major cloud providers are however very large and primarily US-based organisations, however. Given the converge of data bases, interoperability and tendencies towards intensified surveillance, the advance of cloud computing gives rise to fundamental challenges of data governance, identity management and privacy. These issues, addressed by the Global Trust Center, the GINI project, coordinated by IKED, and addressed in a session sponsored by Wisekey back-to-back with the World Economic Forum in Davos 2014, will require intensified collaborative work in years to come based on an platform that is genuinely inclusive in regard to international and multi-stakeholder participation.

In the context of ASEM, i.e. the “Asia-Europe meeting” which represents a process of dialogue and cooperation that brings together more than 40 member countries of the EU and East Asia, issues that matter for the diffusion of constructive ICT-use have been addressed on a number of occasions. The tangible progress achieved has clearly been less than potential. Following on from several high-level meetings in the past, however, IKED operated through ASEM to promote addressing various ICT issues from the demand side.

One of the milestones for this agenda was the ICT Ministers meeting held November 30th – December 1st, 2006, in Ha Noi, Vietnam. Following work on the concluding Action Statement, for which IKED served as Secretariat, ICT ministers then focused on:

  • ICT policy and regulatory environment.
  • Enhancement of enterprises' capabilities to make use of ICT.
  • Cooperation on research and education facilities.
  • Empowering local communities in the use of ICT.

Among other outcomes, that Ministerial meeting encouraged collaborative work on "ICT applications in the area of Human Capital Development and Capacity Building",. Drawing on the agreed mandates, concrete proposals have since then been advanced by IKED in the areas of "ICT, remittances and micro credit”, and in the area of “ICT and health”.
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In the ASEM collaboration, IKED’s engagement originally goes back to the conference organised jointly by IKED and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Malmö and Helsingborg, Sweden, March 2003. The theme of that event was ”Globalisation and ICT - The Role of Government, Private Sector and Civil Society in an Information Society for All”. That topic summoned a range of participants, not only from government services but also from the other stakeholder categories mentioned above. Vietnam’s ICT Ministers’ meeting in Hanoi represented one follow-up to the event. The event also contributed to advancing various policy agendas, including the evolution of the Global Trust Center (www.globaltrustcenter.org).

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