The ICT for Development (ICT4D) conference organised by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) kicked off on March 25th, 2014 in Nairobi, the second time the meeting comes to Kenya. The theme of the 4-day meeting is "Building Resilience through Innovation."
The conference was aimed at showcasing the use of ICT in relief and development efforts and will focus on the ways in which technology enables resilience by supporting developing communities to reduce vulnerabilities and coming up with ways that promote the health and well-being of its members.
This year's event was scheduled to run for 4 days and will have a key focus on coming up with ICT solutions to improve programs in agriculture, food security, education, emergency, response and preparedness health micro-finance peace building, water and sanitation and partner capacity building.
Speaking during the official opening of the forum, Dr Fred Matiangi, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT said: "I wish to commend ICT4D for its initiatives, which represent our individual and collective efforts aimed at bridging the digital divide and fostering development as we strive to improve living standards of our people."
He also noted that ICT4D had clearly distinguished itself in setting ICT development models that can be used to promote social and economic progress. "These efforts have been directed towards ensuring equitable and affordable access of ICT-based communication technologies to our people."
With penetration of cellular technology fast approaching the 89% mark in developing countries and internet usage approaching 31% (International Telecommunications Union 2013 report), this has attributed to the success of the ICT4D conferences.