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U.S. Supports Global Initiatives to Bridge Digital Divide

The United States has recently announced its continuing leadership in the digital space by announcing trailblazing pledges in support of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Partner2Connect (P2C) initiative and aims to catalyse new partnerships and mobilise the resources needed to connect the 2.9 billion people who remain offline and unconnected.

As a result of the United States’ conviction that widespread internet access is essential to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing the quality of life and prospects for all people, help will be provided in the following domains:

Supporting digital public goods as a catalytic force for sustainable development is one of the commitments that the US government has stated it will do, in which local governments, civil society organisations, software engineers, and technology companies come together to declare principles for open-source technology products that are respectful of human rights.

The US government is also interested in providing help for the expansion of digital connectivity in Kenya’s rural states. To collaborate with a worldwide coalition, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is contributing funding from its Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub.

Through its digital connectivity and cybersecurity partnerships, the US government will offer developing country governments assistance in the form of technical support as well as capacity building to assist them in establishing information and communications technology (ICT) policy and regulatory frameworks that allow for a thriving and inclusive digital economy. So far, the United States Government has committed more than $47 million to these efforts.

Furthermore, the US government is encouraging private capital to be invested in digital connectivity infrastructure and digital financial services in developing countries through a programme called Digital Invest. These initiatives are intended to strengthen open, interoperable, reliable, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems in these countries.

To broaden women’s access to economic opportunities and to facilitate digital development services, the US government will continue its collaboration with certain public-private partnerships that are bringing improved Internet access to women in Guatemala, India, Ghana, Colombia, and Kenya.

The United States will continue to support a global community of students, researchers, and educators from 65 countries and 320 universities who are using public geospatial technologies to advance development worldwide, with a focus on women’s economic empowerment, digital mapping literacy, and youth engagement, and it is currently working on mapping solutions related to climate, urban services, and electric power access.

Furthermore, policy assistance will be offered in the form of symposia, toolkits, public engagement assistance, or multi-stakeholder broadband training sessions.

Through its International Visitors Programme (IVP), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – an independent body of the US government that is supervised by Congress will be able to offer expanded consultations, information sharing, and capacity building with regulatory counterparts from around the world on a variety of topics pertaining to the regulation of telecommunications.

The improved IVP will incorporate information on best practices for closing the digital divide in the United States, including gender issues and tribal territories. It will feature women and people with special needs, as well as youth tourists.

To identify and implement relevant solutions, a comprehensive diagnosis of the roots of the digital divide is essential. As a result, the US government is deeply committed to a vision of global development that is inclusive, driven by innovation, and focused on those who are most in need.

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