Finance2Connect: Innovative Ways to Finance Connectivity

In this interactive session of the Road to Addis Series entitled “Finance2Connect: Innovative Ways to Finance Connectivity”, esteemed panelists discussed ideas around innovative financing models, including identifying good practices and lessons learned, in financing connectivity for sustainable development.

28 APRIL 2021


Mr. David Kirkpatrick, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy Media


Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau

Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, UNICEF

Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director, Ethereum Foundation

Hiro Mizuno, UN Special Envoy on Innovative Finance and Sustainable Investments

Mmabatho Motsamai, Founder, The Afrolutionist; Member, ITU Generation Connect Visionaries Board

Andile Ngcaba, Founder, Convergence Partners

Keynote Speaker:

H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Since its rise in popularity in the 1990s, the Internet has enabled new products and services, improved economic efficiency, and transformed access to information. Its growing impact has been central to the emerging Information Society and digital economy.

The Sustainable Development Goals  provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity, now and into the future. The urgent call for action by all countries, acting as a global partnership, is underscored by the recognition that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, the Internet is and will increasingly be a critical enabler for sustainable development; it underpins infrastructure for economic and social progress, providing tools for programmes across health, finance, and education. However, 3.7 billion people are still unconnected to the Internet – therefore unable to take advantage of the transformative power of information and communication technologies.

The Alliance for Affordable Internet and the ITU found that nearly $428 billion will be required to achieve universal connectivity to quality broadband internet in the next ten years.

The Road to Addis series focuses on six (6) enablers for accelerating connectivity for sustainable development, one of which is Financing. On April 28, ITU hosted a session in its Road to Addis series focusing on “Innovative Ways to Finance Connectivity.” In this session, esteemed guests explored some innovative financing models and their application, as well as some good practices and lessons learned in financing connectivity for sustainable development. The session answered the following questions:

  • What new models of financing need to be developed to ensure universal, meaningful, and sustainable connectivity?
  • How can new and non-traditional actors (donors, investors) be engaged?
  • What has to change in the role of the international community to facilitate these new models and to better engage new actors?
  • What specific additional challenges must be overcome by LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDs?