High-level policy dialogue: South-south sharing of policy experiences for digital transformation

September 1
10:00 am 
– 11:30 am
 (CEST)
Online
UNCTAD

The outbreak of the pandemic has exposed the existing global digital divide and highlighted the importance of building the digital economy, especially in the global south. Many developing countries and most of the LDCs lag in terms of even the basic ICT infrastructure, which is the internet access to their population. There is a need for developing countries to design a comprehensive national digital policy for building their digital economy with targeted strategies at the sub-national and sectoral levels. Both demand and supply side constraints need to be addressed. Many developing countries have started the process of designing their digital policies, particularly focusing on building their digital infrastructure.

While developing countries are facing common challenges for digital transformation in terms of lack of adequate digital infrastructure, digital skills and capacities, some developing countries have been able to successfully design digital policies for their structural transformation. While it may not be possible for developing countries to replicate other countries’ experiences, there are many policy lessons which can help in rapid digital transformation and assist developing countries to recover better from the pandemic with more sustainable and inclusive growth.

Objectives:

The main objective of this webinar is to facilitate peer learning by sharing digital policies which are being designed in the global south. The webinar will bring together high-level policymakers and other experts from developing countries to share their policy experiences on building digital infrastructure and digital skills. A wide audience will be invited including policymakers, thinktanks, civil society, academia, and other stakeholders to have fruitful discussions on the way forward for developing countries in terms of bridging the digital divide.

Key issues to be discussed:

  • What are the key policies which can help in digital transformation?
  • What policies have been adopted to build data infrastructure for structural transformation?
  • What are the strategies which are being used to promote digital innovations?

Programme

10:00–11:00 Welcome and Introductory Remarks

  • Isabelle Durant, Acting Secretary General, UNCTAD

High-Level Segment

Speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Suharso Monoarfa as Minister of National Development Planning, Indonesia.
  • H.E. Mr. Namal Rajapaksa, State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development, Sri Lanka.
  • H.E. Mr. Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India.

Moderator:

  • Anastasia Nesvetailova, Head, Macroeconomic and Development Policies Branch, Division on Globalisation and Development Strategies, UNCTAD.
11:00–11:30 Q&A
Co-organizer(s): UNCTAD, ICTA (Sri Lanka) and INDEF (Indonesia)

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