Moderated High-Level Policy Sessions

Moderated High-Level Policy Sessions

WSIS FORUM 2016 – 04 may 2016

10:40 – 11:30 Session THIRTEEN: Bridging Digital Divides

  • Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU (BR)
  • Chairman: Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, United States of America
  • High-Level Track Facilitator (HLTF): Dr. Cisse Kane, President, African Civil Society on the Information Society (ACSIS), Senegal
  • WSIS Action Line Facilitator: Mr. Kemal Huseinovic, Chief of the Infrastructure, Enabling Environment and E-Applications Department, ITU
  • Guinea (Republic of)– S.E. M Moustapha Mamy Diaby, Ministre, Ministère des Postes, Télécommunications et de l’Economie Numérique
  • India, National Internet Exchange of India, CEO & Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Mr Rajiv Bansal
  • Internet Society (ISOC)– Mr Raúl Echeberría, Vice President


  • Look at all means and all groups of people (including those who have not the opportunity to go to school) and identify specific solutions for them in order to get them on board
  • Complement digital inclusion with investment in local languages and cultures
  • Include people who have not been to school
  • Make people concerned about ICT
  • ICT as an enabler for development and wealth (education, training, and sensitization), not only for fun

Fresh Priorities

  • Not only follow business models and aspirations
  • Not only see people as a market but stick to their own needs and aspirations
  • Avoid gadgetisation
  • Promote appropriation of ICT through topic interesting populations

Emerging Trends

  • Software, interfaces and applications in local languages (India)
  • Networking on critical Internet issues (ISOC)
  • Culture and local contents


  • Africa with big potential of growth
  • The youth
  • Local languages and cultures as a new market for ICT and an opportunity to narrow digital gaps
  • Rural areas
  • Improving quality of service
  • Demography can lower costs like in India

Key Challenges

  • Financing implementation
  • Financing infrastructure
  • Increase technical skills in emerging and developing countries
  • Ho to capture more financial resources from the ICT sector to be invested in narrowing digital divides

Case Examples 

  • Guinea national digitization plan
  • Computerization of all schools in Guinea
  • ISOC Networking sessions
  • IXPs in India
  • India universal access plan (already 400 million connected) – optic fiber to the villages (250000)

Road ahead

  • Balance between local needs and business priorities
  • More equitable redistribution processes: how to capture more resources from the ICT sector to help bridging digital divides
  • redistribute more ICT revenues in creating new opportunities,
  • training and capacity building on ICT and critical Internet issues
  • Invest in enabling access to literacy
  • enabling more presence of local languages and local contents
  • Continue to invest in infrastructure

Done by Dr. Cisse Kane,

President, African Civil Society on the Information Society (ACSIS), Senegal

WSIS FORUM 2016 High-Level Track Facilitator (HLTF)

4 may 2016 Geneva