Thanks Google.When we get some more information?Greetings Markus
I read with interest the articles «Google backs space-age project to connect 3bn to net via satellite » and « Space offers high-speed Net access to Africa » recently published on the Financial Times. These articles describe the "O3b Networks" venture capital initiative undertaken by Google, HSBC and Liberty Global aiming at bringing internet access to 3 billion people in Africa and other emerging markets. The European Union, with about 60% of the total international development assistance to poor countries, is by far the world leading donor. To give you an idea, in 2007 the European Union committed about 10 billion €uro in international Aid and economic co-operation assistance. Almost 40% in value of this aids will finance interventions of various nature in Africa (i.e. food aid, investments in physical infrastructures, technical assistance to Governments, etc.). What it may surprise is that EU sponsored investments in "ICT infrastructure" and "new technologies" remain today very marginal (e.g. EU funded investments in communication infrastructure were in 2007 of only 50 Millions €!). This mainly because nowadays there is very little knowledge and understanding about the substantial contribution that "new technologies" can give to the social and economic development of a poor countries/regions. I am convinced that the described trend can be changed provided that an "ad hoc" industry strategy is put in place. This strategy should aim at raising the profile of the IT industry vis-à-vis the international donors community and, more in practice, by having IT industry playing a more active and decisive role in the formulation of Europe Union's development policies/strategies for poor countries. The ultimate aim of this strategy would be to have "new technologies" recognized as one of the key factors enabling both poverty reduction and improve living conditions of billions of people worldwide and, as consequence, having the donors community orienting their aid in this area. At stake there are financial aids that are estimate of billion of Euro every year! Who writes has a considerable knowledge and experience in both European Union's policies as well as in the formulation and management of EU funds for External-Aid. I would welcome your views on the above and, where possible, to discuss this issue with you in person. Kind RegardsSergio MastropierroBrussels
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