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“Innovative communities: leveraging technology and innovation to build sustainable and resilient societies” - ECOSOC, 2018 Integration Segment, 24th plenary meeting
3 May 2018 -  Short video
“Tanzania Flying Labs” produced by WeRobotics

This session will address the particular challenges of African countries. Africa faces enormous development challenges in the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development. The volatility of oil and other commodity prices further demonstrated the continent’s vulnerability to global economic shocks due to reliance on a narrow base of raw-commodity exports.
The Ebola virus crisis illustrated the urgent need to build resilient health systems, including through promoting R&D for public health needs and using technologies for data collection and dissemination of information. Tackling the digital divide, building the capacity of data systems, boosting productive capacity and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship will be critical for maximizing the role of technology and innovation in boosting resilience and inclusive growth in Africa. Against this background, panelists will explore the synergies between the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 to build sustainable and resilient societies. The discussion will explore how technological and innovative solutions applied to specific contexts have the potential to mitigate a significant number of vulnerabilities of the continent, spurring progress towards the SDGs. The session will showcase concrete examples and initiatives.

Key questions to guide the discussion:
• How can integrated public policy responses support African countries in addressing vulnerabilities, such as to the global economic shocks, health crises and environmental hazards?
• What challenges do African countries encounter in the formulation of integrated policies?
• What has been the experience of African countries in using technology and innovation to strengthen resilience and inclusion in an integrated manner?
• How the UN development system and traditional, new and emerging development partners can support African countries in leveraging technology and innovation to support resilience and inclusiveness in the implementation of national, sub-regional and continental strategies?

Moderator
Ms. Gogontlejang Phaladi, Founder and Executive Director of the Gogontlejang Phaladi Pillar of Hope Project (GPPHP)
Panelists
H.E. Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Liberia
H.E. Ms. Valentine Rugwabiza, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations (TBC)
Ms. Bience Gawanas, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa
Ms. Rafiah Ibrahim, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area Middle East & Africa, Ericsson
Mr. Frank Selker, Director of International Sales, Trans-African HydroMeteorological Observatory (TAHMO)
Mr. Joshua Ogure, Coordinator, Map Kibera Trust
Interactive discussion
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