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UN, SV leaders to bring technology to developing countries

Posted: 06 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel? World Ahead? address tech needs? ICT? ICT needs?

Members of a special United Nations group recently met with Silicon Valley leaders to explore how the technology industry, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can come together to bolster development around the world.

Intel Corp. and the U.N.'s Global Alliance for Information and Communications Technology and Development (U.N. GAID) jointly organized the summit. Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, who also chairs the U.N. GAID, said the meeting provided a critical platform for sharing ideas and forging partnerships among prominent members of government, the international development community and Silicon Valley's businesses, academia and the venture capital industry.

"The U.N. GAID was formed last year to partner with private industry and NGOs to accelerate access to computers, connectivity and rich local content to improve entrepreneurship, education, health care and government services," said Barrett, who traveled to 10 developing countries to explore how technology was being used in rural areas.

"This summit is designed to foster collaboration and, more importantly, create action," he said. "It's what the world needs and governments want for their citizens. It's the right thing to do and makes business sense."

Barrett called on the summit's attendees to support the U.N. GAID's flagship partnership initiatives and communities of expertise. The efforts focus on bringing broadband connectivity to Africa and advancing community-based computer centers. The initiatives also tackle other specific problem areas where technology can improve entrepreneurship, education, health care and government services.

Representatives from more than 30 countries attended the summit, meeting with more than 100 Silicon Valley technology executives, venture capitalists and academics.

"Silicon Valley is the world capital of innovation, and we are counting on its contribution," said U.N. GAID executive director Sarbuland Khan. "In the information and communication field, the melding of markets and social responsibility is bringing to life new solutions to age-old problems like poverty, disease, hunger and illiteracy."

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