- Gabriela Eguidazu, director of Innovation and Inclusive Growth of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, was a speaker at the meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development: “Advances in connectivity should focus on uses that lead to greater progress and well-being of the population, such as training, access to financial services, adaptation to climate change or improved health”.
- The worldwide figure for the number of people not connected to the Internet dropped from 2.7 billion, in 2022, to 2.6 billion in 2023, according to a recent publication by ITU (the UN’s specialized agency for technology). The decline hardly alters the fact that 33% of the world’s population does not have an Internet connection.
Experts from around the world have gathered in New York to advance the achievement of worldwide Peace, Prosperity, Progress and Sustainability in the framework of the United Nations General Assembly, also host to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit and the Climate Ambition Summit.
Three of the key topics discussed were: Sustainable development in complex environments, organized by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), gender equality, organized by UN Women’s Equality Generation, and digital inclusion, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
It was precisely in the area of digital inclusion that Gabriela Eguidazu, director of Innovation and Inclusive Growth for the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, joined the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development meeting as a speaker. In her presentation, she explained, “Advances in connectivity should be focused on practices that will lead to increased progress and well-being for the population, such as training, access to financial services, adaptation to climate change and improved health. At the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, we have experience in promoting this development among the most vulnerable, and in addition, 60% of the entrepreneurs we support manage to overcome poverty after five years”.
The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development meets twice a year to discuss the most relevant issues affecting broadband access, affordability and use. According to the latest ITU data, the number of people around the world who are not connected to the Internet has fallen from 2.7 billion in 2022 to 2.6 billion in 2023. A drop that has barely altered the fact that 33% of the world’s population is still living without an Internet connection. This shows how much remains to be done to achieve the goal of universal and meaningful connectivity by 2030.
ITU’s projects aimed at achieving effective connectivity include the Digital Partner2Connect Initiative to drive universal connectivity and digital transformation around the world, focusing on the hardest-to-connect communities, most of which are in developing countries. The BBVA Microfinance Foundation, Telefónica and Axon Partners Group are the only 3 Spanish private organizations with Partner2Connect commitments.