Manila, PH – This year’s Digital Strategies for Development Summit event will be co-organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Department of Science and Technology Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office), and will take place at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, in Cebu City, Philippines, from September 22 to 24.

Under the theme, Accelerating inclusive development through ICT innovation, the 3-day consortium serves as a platform for high level participants, ranging from policy makers, regulators, telecentre operators, and managers and NGOs, content and services developers and providers, public sector, industry, academia and regional/international development partners to foster dynamic and strategic discussions, sharing of information, real experiences and best practices on ICT innovation. DSDS 2015 will also have an exhibit of existing ICT solutions to address emerging challenges in promoting rural development with a special focus on youth, and women and SMEs relative to entrepreneurship and employment.

Internet as a Conduit for Development

Issues pertaining to Internet connectivity, its distribution strategy in rural areas, as well as how the public can harness ICT to improve their daily lives will also be discussed among the plenary and breakout sessions of the event. When it comes to Internet connectivity and its relevance to inclusive development, ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said: “It has been well recognized that the effective use of ICT and broadband networks, services and applications can deliver transformative solutions to address the key challenges of our times, including reducing poverty and malnutrition, improving healthcare, delivering education and increasing agricultural productivity amongst others. Broadband networks offer perhaps the greatest opportunity we have ever had to make rapid advances in global social and economic development – across all sectors.”

Specifically, the ICT Office plans to address this situation by presenting government efforts such as the Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project, aptly called Juan Konek, under the Digital Empowerment Program, as well as the Tech4ED Project.

The ITU and DOST-ICT Office have been partners in matters pertaining to the development and proper usage of Information and Communications Technology to facilitate economic growth and social inclusion both locally and internationally. Such partnerships have resulted in various other co-organizations such as the recent Regional Radiocommunication Seminar which was led last May, as well as last year’s DSDS 2014, both of which were held in Metro Manila.