April 8, 2011

DEBATES / OPPORTUNITIES: Social and Economic Impact of Mobile Phones in Developing Countries

UNESCO will launch the first of a series of debates on ICTs and development on the WSIS Platform of Communities website (www.wsis-community.org) on 11 April. The debate will last until 25 April. A summary of insights from the debate will be published as a contribution to this year's WSIS Forum which is to be held in Geneva from 16 to 20 May 2011, and to discussions by international development agencies.

The debate is on the Social and Economic Impact of Mobile Phones in Developing Countries: http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/debates/group:15325/overview/244294.

The debate opens with a background comment on mobile phones in development (from the debate moderator, Dr David Souter) and two opening statements of the importance of mobile phones for social and economic development. The opening statements are by Rich Ling, who focuses on social impact, and Abi Jagun, who focuses on economic impact.

A number of interviews with experts in mobile phones and development are also used to set the scene. The interviews are with Jenny Aker, Ken Banks, Roxanna Barrantes, Harsha da Silva and Alison Gillwald.

UNESCO urges everyone with an interest in mobile phones and development is encouraged to join the debate and raise issues which you think should be discussed. You are also welcome to draw attention to new developments and insights on the issues.

Summaries of the issues and comments from the moderator will be posted as the debate progresses.

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