Over 500 participants from government, business, academia, non-governmental organisations and the United Nations family are meeting in Nairobi this week to formulate and optimise human capacity building strategies for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, to improve’ digital skills and empower countries to take full advantage of strong continued growth in ICT-related jobs.

Organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialised agency for ICTs, and hosted by the Communications Authority of Kenya, the global ICT Capacity Building Symposium (CBS-2016) provides an opportunity for stakeholders from across the world to discuss trends and developments in the sector and their implications for human and institutional capacity building, and to develop strategies to accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a time of major digital technology transformation.

“We live in a knowledge economy where new opportunities are emerging every day. ICTs are now at the centre of almost everything we do, and those who are empowered with digital skills and have the ability and opportunity to learn and adapt will gain a significant competitive advantage,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

“This symposium brings together key ICT and education stakeholders to discuss how emerging technologies are changing the human capacity building environment: ITU is committed to helping all its members effectively and rapidly build human ICT capacity and improve ICT skills.”

“ICTs occupy a very special place in the hearts and minds of Kenyans. Indeed, ICTs not only drive the Kenyan society today but also are intricately embedded in our national development plan, which Kenya calls ‘Vision 2030’,” said William Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya.

“Innovation is fuel of today’s development. It is the foundation for the transformative and visionary societies of today and tomorrow. We are living in the most dynamic time in history. Today’s innovation makes last week’s innovation obsolete. We need to feed this monster; we need to let it devour the challenges of our time and usher us into a new inter-connected age of prosperity.”