Partner2Connect. Photo: ITU
Partner2Connect Program Gets USD 30 Billion in Commitments to Connect the World
ITU had formed Partner2Connect two years ago as a global platform to expand digital connectivity.
Commitments worth USD 29.92 billion have been pledged since March to bring the world’s hardest-to-connect communities online, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies.
The total commitments, coming in 578 pledges from around the world, include cash funding as well as policy, programme and advocacy efforts mobilized since the launch of a dedicated pledging platform to extend Internet reach around the globe.
The updated figure for the pledges in support of global connectivity was announced during the first annual meeting of the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 8.
“It is heartening to see the international community from so many sectors focus on bringing digital connectivity to all,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “ITU is uniquely positioned to support this effort and we will continue to mobilize our distinctive and diverse public-private membership base around concrete commitments to connect the world.”
ITU had formed Partner2Connect two years ago as a global platform to expand digital connectivity. To date, pledges mobilized by the coalition have come from 280 entities representing 118 countries. The commitments – made by governments, businesses and civil society – are for projects in the drive for universal and meaningful connectivity.
Earlier this year, ITU reported that 2.7 billion people remain unconnected to the Internet, a number equivalent to roughly one-third of the world population. The pledges mobilized are especially meant to support developing countries where connectivity is lagging and the digital gender gap is widest.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations.