The Dominican Republic serves as host of the Forum sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Korea
Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Telecommunications and business leaders from over 20 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean convened to launch the Second Ministerial Forum for Broadband Development. During the Forum the participants discussed new growth alternatives in the area of information technologies and communication.
Activities at the Forum include a presentation on "Broadband for Socio-Economic Development" presented by Diego Molano, former Minister of Telecommunications of Colombia, followed by a series of ministerial round tables and panels on public frameworks to boost access to broadband, the adoption of new legal frameworks and challenges facing public/private investment to bridge the digital divide.
Through its broadband platform, the IDB is working with governments in the region, supporting their priorities to bridge the digital divide, especially in rural areas. The risk of being left behind in the adoption of broadband services may affect the efforts of the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean in the fight against poverty and inequality. Broadband has become an axis for all sectors of development and a catalyst for social inclusion, economic growth and social welfare.
According to the Broadband Development Index, a data set from the digiLAC platform, Panama moved up from 4th to 3rd place in development of the sector among 26 countries of the region, Costa Rica rose five positions to 7th, and Colombia advanced one position to now rank 5th. The gap between the countries of the region and the OECD increased from 1.77 in 2013 to 1.89 in 2014 (4.51 and 6.40, respectively, out of a possible 8 points).
Ana Maria Rodriguez-Ortiz, Manager, Institutions for Development, IDB, noted during the opening ceremony of the Forum, "We cannot leave our citizens outside of the digital society; we cannot create a new digital divide. One of our main objectives in the development agenda should be focused on creating a connected world and a connected region."
Gideon Santos, Chairman of the Board of the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications, INDOTEL, said, "Through broadband, distances are eliminated, creating a shortcut between the citizen and government, and thus we can truly put the citizen at the center of public policy."
DigiLAC is part of the IDB’s Broadband Program, the goal of which is to promote an institutional and regulatory environment that facilitates completion and investment to speed up access to as well as adoption and use of broadband services in the region.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
- Fabian Koss