That’s one of the key messages coming out of the ITU Global Symposium for Regulators forum held this week in Africa in the Gabonese capital Libreville.
The ICT regulatory meeting highlighted the key role of innovation in driving ICT development, with delegates stressing the need for more innovative approaches to funding challenges, ICT taxation, network sharing and licensing of new services.
Around 400 senior international policy makers from over 60 countries, representing the world’s information and communication technology (ICT) regulatory authorities and leading tech companies, attended the meeting and focused on strategies to accelerate digital inclusion to leverage the growth potential of emerging economies and developing markets.
ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao emphasised the importance of fostering the growth of technology-based small and medium enterprises in growing each country’s national digital economy, urging countries to invest in youth through education and ICT training.
“Young people are natural innovators, and today’s youth are also ‘digital natives’ – using ICTs to solve problems and create useful new services comes naturally to them, so they can become major drivers of socio-economic change.
“Far-sighted governments should look to ways of harnessing this energy and creativity to transform their economies through ICTs and help bridge the digital gap,” Zhao said.