Channeling public-private partnerships to close the digital divide
Contributed by Nokia
Nokia had the honor of hosting His Excellency Mr. Courtenay Rattray, United Nations High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, and Ambassadors to the UN of the Least Developed Countries for a visit to Nokia Executive Experience Center to discuss how technology can contribute to societal and economic progress and how to bridge the digital divide and support digitalization.
In his role as Broadband Commissioner, Mr. Rattray is working in close collaboration with representatives of other international organizations, governments, civil society, and top industry leaders of the private sector to advance universal digital connectivity. Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark also recently joined the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, bringing insights on how technology helps provide more inclusive access to work, healthcare, markets, and education for everyone.
The recent visit to Nokia took place in connection with the first LDC Future Forum that was organized in Helsinki, Finland, in October 2021, with support from the Government of Finland. The Forum brought together policymakers, academics, and practitioners to explore research findings and offer new perspectives on the challenges and emerging issues that the Least Developed Countries are facing today and in the next decade. The Forum aimed to debate and introduce policy recommendations that can support LDCs in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as building their ability to compete in the global economy.
The world is facing a climate crisis that goes beyond national borders, and the COVID-19 pandemic is posing a risk to economic growth. The Least Developed Countries are especially vulnerable to these challenges.
At Nokia, we strongly believe that innovative technology solutions can help accelerate digitalization of the economies and a strong build back after the pandemic. It also helps industries and governments meet the Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, a GSMA study found that the use of mobile technology enabled a global reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions, which was almost ten times greater than the global carbon footprint of the mobile industry itself.
Another pressing issue is addressing the digital divide. It requires effective cooperation across the public and private sector. Policy makers play a critical role in creating a regulatory environment that supports adoption of the latest technologies while encouraging digital investments. Strategic sectors including manufacturing, energy, mining, transport, and logistics can increase their productivity and reduce waste with the adoption of next-generation communications networks, enabling them to offer more efficient and greener services and products.
When visiting Nokia, Mr. Rattray had the opportunity to see demos and presentations of Nokia’s technology that can help industries, cities, supply chains and individuals to reduce their footprints. A concrete example is that 54% less energy was used by the customer base stations we modernized in 2020. As part of our renewed Science Based Targets (SBTs) we have committed to halve our emissions across our operations and our portfolio between 2019 and 2030.
When the world is acting together, we are paving the way for a more sustainable and economically stable future.
The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect those of ITU and UNESCO or the Broadband Commission. The mention of specific companies, products or services does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by ITU or UNESCO or Broadband Commission in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.