Digital Cities: An Opportunity for Ecuador
UNESCO’s Quito Office, in collaboration with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society (MINTEL), recently organized, in the framework of the Information for All Programme (IFAP), a Forum on “Digital Cities: An Opportunity for Ecuador”. The Forum aimed to inform the public and private actors in the country about the possibilities and benefits that ICT bring to societies and economies, as well as to discuss how to breach the digital divide.
The event was opened by the Vice-Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society, Augusto Espín, and was attended by several representatives of MINTEL.
The Forum sought to bring information to the Ecuadorian public and private sector about international trends and concepts, such as the “cities of knowledge”. The initiative aimed to explore how to offer the best technology and services to citizens, in order to meet their everyday needs. At the regional level, communities should also be able to interact, share information and experiences and have access to digital community services.
This event was organized within the context of IFAP’s project “Access to information, accountability and transparency in the Andean region”. In this context, UNESCO’s Office in Quito collaborates with the different municipalities of Ecuador in order to support the process of digitalization of cities. In the framework of the Digital Ecuador Strategy, MINTEL plans to support the implementation of these initiatives, strengthening the technological transformation of the country. The objective is to implement six digital cities between 2012 and 2015.
In his opening speech, Espín stated, “In our globalized world, a society that does not encourage educational, informational, social and cultural processes in accordance with the technological progress, is condemned to stagnation. New technologies are an effective tool to generate opportunities for development, which will help to reduce the asymmetries between the regions and the cities, promoting social, economic and cultural inclusion of disadvantaged sectors of the population.”
Through this activity, UNESCO’s Quito Office contributed to strengthening the use of ICT by the public sector, while improving access to information, encouraging the participation of citizens in decision-making processes and fostering government accountability, transparency and effectiveness.
UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP) is an intergovernmental body created in 2000 to assist Member States in the formulation of national information policy frameworks. Through IFAP governments have pledged to harness the new opportunities of the information age to create equitable societies through better access to information.
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