The COVID19 pandemic revealed the importance that access to digital technologies, and good quality data has for development, and accelerated the pace of digital adoption. Despite progress, emerging/ developing markets still lag behind in digital connectivity, availability of investment capital and tech talent. The WBG's new Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development approach, in alignment with the EU Green Deal, is increasing efforts for a climate-responsive, inclusive and sustainable recovery and reconstruction. The session focussed on the experience of IFC and GFDRR in partnering with key European partners, to catalyze investments, enable linkages between investors, experts, businesses and the public sector, build skills and reduce the knowledge gap in the sector in emerging markets.
The panelists include:
Hela Cheikhrouhou, IFC VP for the Middle East, Central Asia, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation Programs, European Space Agency
Bernard Yvetot, VP International Strategy, Orange
Ilias Iakovidis, Adviser, DG CONNECT, European Commission
Ngawang Gyeltshen, Young Leader, Bhutan
Moderated by: Vince Chadwick, Brussels correspondent, Devex
The panel discussed several technological programmes currently in use to stimulate development: Destination Earth, which uses open-source satellite data to support modelling; the Digital Product Passport, which is the tech equivalent of farm-to-fork; and the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure.
Speakers underlined that tech is not a panacea, and that we still need to develop a metric to measure digital sustainability. Local, contextualised approaches are also important to keeping development autonomous.