ICC Secretary General in Silicon Valley to advance ICT development initiative

  • 28 February 2007

In a move to further engage the high-tech industry in bringing the benefits of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to developing countries, ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban and other members of the UN’s Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) steering committee and strategy council are meeting today with Silicon Valley’s industry, academia and venture capital community.

The meeting, jointly organized by GAID and Intel Corporation, aims to identify opportunities for the UN alliance and Silicon Valley to work together on existing projects to extend ICTs reach to more developing countries. Host Craig Barrett, who chairs both Intel Corporation and GAID, stressed the importance of this cooperation in making current efforts have more impact.

“Facilitating a safe and unhampered flow of information and knowledge is a task where business, governments and other stakeholders need to cooperate locally, nationally and internationally, and where public-private partnerships are very effective,” said Mr Sebban.

“Business has an important role in conducting research and development, and in investing in the network and infrastructure. At the same time, governments must establish legal certainty, encourage competition and ensure intellectual property rights protection to create environments conducive to investment and innovation,” he added.

The gathering comes a day after GAID strategy council and steering committee meetings to review the alliance’s work, which was officially launched in Kuala Lumpur last June. In today’s meeting, participants will try to determine how GAID projects could benefit from more Silicon Valley input. Panel discussions will also explore the views of Silicon Valley’s innovators regarding science and technology for development; venture capital and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals; and identification of locally relevant content.

The agenda includes an outreach session hosted by ICC’s Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative where Mr Sebban and other BASIS members will outline its work and the benefits of aligning Silicon Valley business participation in the various global forums discussing ICTs and Internet governance.