Connect2Recover. Photo: ITU
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has launched Connect2Recover with the support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre of Saudi Arabia.
It will help countries recover from Covid-19 by expanding access to affordable and reliable connectivity. Connect2Recover will initially focus on selected countries in Africa which are some of the least well connected countries and likely to be hit hard by the pandemic in socio-economic terms.
According to ITU, Covid-19 has highlighted that digital infrastructure is not just a convenience but an essential requirement for fully fledged participation in society and the economy.
Broadband connectivity has proved vital in helping countries’ businesses and citizens adapt and respond to the pandemic, enabling them to access the latest health information and continue working, learning, and socializing remotely.
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Connect2Recover seeks to expand access to affordable and reliable connectivity, which is an essential aspect of countries’ Covid-19 recovery strategies.
“ITU, and the wider international community, is transitioning from aiding countries with their immediate response to Covid-19, to helping countries prepare for and adjust to a ‘new normal’,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.
“As the United Nations is calling on its Member States to ‘build back better’, Connect2Recover represents ITU’s contribution by facilitating socio-economic recovery through the use of digital infrastructure, services, and applications, thanks to the generous support of the Japanese government and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
In addition to ITU’s existing Covid-19 activities and work programmes in Africa, Connect2Recover reinforces the organization’s efforts to accelerate digital transformation on the African continent and thus achieve long-term development goals.