***MEDIA ADVISORY*** ITU, UNCDF, UNIDO, and WIPO Joint Side Event at Ministerial Meeting on New Partnerships for Productive Capacity Building in the LDCs


In the Post-2015 Development Agenda, three factors emerge as critical means of implementation of global goals: (1) science, technology and innovation (STI), (2) broadband connectivity and (3) financing.

(1) Technology transfer and enhancement of regional and international cooperation for science, technology, and innovation (STI) are amongst the main topics discussed in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Technological progress and innovation allow for economic growth and wealth creation, which forms the basis for improvement in standards of living, be it in terms of poverty reduction or reduced infant mortality. Likewise, STI provide the underpinnings for enhanced energy efficiency and advancement towards green industry. Young women and men, who tend to be susceptible to new technologies and prone to innovate have the potential to become technology promoters as young entrepreneurs. This does not only improve their own livelihoods, but also support positive externalities, such as job creation, innovation and bottom-up private sector development. This is key for the LDCs, where technology is central to productive capacity building. Building the knowledge base for economic growth and development is one of the key factors for narrowing the gap between LDCs and other developing and developed countries. It is critical for LDCs to move towards that of the knowledge-based economy with innovation and innovative capacity as a focus. Within this context, the emergence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) acts as one of the conduits for knowledge flow and development of LDCs.

(2) The potential of ICT as a key vector and accelerator of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and as a catalyst for the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is evident. The Fourth United Nations Conference on LDCs recognized that ICT are an infrastructure priority for building viable productive capacity in the LDCs on a par with water, electricity, transport, as well as institutional capacity (Istanbul Declaration, paragraph 8.a.). The Istanbul Programme of Action sets the goal for LDCs to "significantly increase access to telecommunication services and strive to provide 100 per cent access to the Internet by 2020" (Istanbul Programme of Action, paragraph 45.c.). In sum, in addition to science and innovation, ICT are key drivers and agents of change and have great potential to transform the development landscape to enhance productive capacities in the LDCs. (3) The implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda will require States and other relevant actors, acting individually and collectively, to adopt policies and mobilize resources to advance sustainable development. LDCs face the critical challenge of mobilizing resources in a difficult environment. Financing needs are enormous: OHRLLS estimates put the financing gap of LDCs at $75 billion a year if these countries are to grow - on average - by 7 per cent over the next 10 years. Appropriate and innovative financing mechanisms need to be put in place to leverage ODA and foster domestic resource mobilization, including for technology acquisition.

WHAT: ITU, UNCDF, UNIDO, and WIPO will organize a joint side-event in the margins of the "Ministerial Conference on New Partnerships for the Development of Productive Capacities in LDCs". The event is held in the context of the longstanding support of these agencies towards economic growth of LDCs and the deployment and uptake of technology ICT as enablers for development and means of implementation. The objectives of the event are twofold:

1) Present how STI, national knowledge capacity building, enhanced utilization of ICT, and innovative forms of financing can contribute to productive capacities and sustainable development in LDCs. This includes planning and needs analysis, conducive policy frameworks for enhanced utilization of ICT as well as designing and implementing investment promotion strategies and business partnerships that will enable them to target technologies supporting a sustainable and inclusive industrialization process.

2) Discuss the synergies and interlinkages between STI, ICT and financing, and the interplay between these means of implementation, especially in the context of multi-stakeholder partnerships. This includes aspects related to facilitating enhanced access and integration into global knowledge and innovation systems, mobilizing new resources, catalyzing innovation, and achieving scale in LDCs.

WHEN: 29 July 2014 - 8:30am-10:00am

WHERE: Palais des Congrès de Cotonou


  • Mr. Komi Koutché, Minister of Communication and ICT of the Republic of Benin
  • Dr Ritin Koria, Associate Expert - Innovation, UNIDO
  • Mr. Kiflé Shenkoru – Director, Least Developed Countries Division, WIPO
  • Dr. Cosmas Zavazava, Chief of Department, Project Support and Knowledge Management Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), ITU
  • Mr. Henri Dommel, Director, Financial Inclusion Practice Area, UNCDF
  • Representatives from LDCs, civil society and the private sector