Towards Sustainable Development: Making the World Digital by Default

The Government of Kazakhstan hosts an event during the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly to discuss the importance of being connected, and how global and regional cooperation can support this.

The session is aimed at discussing and promoting transformative models to accelerate universal connectivity, such as Giga, in order to make world “digital by default”. The event will bring together various stakeholder groups, including startups and senior-level policy makers in charge of ICT in the Giga champion countries, in order to exchange views and seek solutions on developing appropriate financing models for providing connectivity.
DATE: September 22, 2020
TIME: 11:15-12:30 EDT
ORGANIZED BY: Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan


Digital by default only works when connectivity issues are addressed. Launched in 2019 by UNICEF and ITU, Giga sets the goal of providing connectivity to every school in the world.
Kazakhstan has joined the initiative as a regional lead in Central Asia. Giga is consistent with Kazakhstan’s concept of digitalization, the country’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable development Goals, and the key messages of the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The COVID-19 pandemic further emphasized the urgent need for a mechanism for global cooperation, joint coordinated actions, and exchange of technologies and experience. 

The session is aimed at discussing and promoting transformative models to accelerate universal connectivity, such as Giga, in order to make world “digital by default.” The event will bring together various stakeholder groups, including startups and senior-level policy makers in charge of ICT in the Giga champion countries, in order to exchange views and seek solutions on developing appropriate financing models for providing connectivity. 

During this event, we aim to:

  • Strengthen global and regional partnership, cooperation and coordination on use of digital technologies and accelerating connectivity to make the world “Digital by Default”
  • Facilitate an exchange of experiences and lessons learned between countries on effective use of digital technologies during the COVID-19 outbreak, to promote sharing of ideas and best practices
  • Contribute to the implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap of Digital Cooperation by facilitating broader public discussion on strengthening digital cooperation, identify and promote regional common perspectives and digital projects that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs
  • and encourage counterparts to focus on connectivity and bridging the digital divides that exist globally as well as in the region. 


Christopher Fabian (Moderator), Co-Lead, Giga; Senior Adviser, UNICEF Innovation

H. E. Mr. Bagdat Mussin, Minister of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations


H. E. Mr. Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou, Minister of ICT, Director General of National Agency for the information society (ANSI), Niger 

H. E. Mr. Altynbek IsmailovChairman of the State Committee of information technologies and communications of the Kyrgyz Republic 

Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), ITU 

Mr. Yat Siu, Co-Founder & Chairman, Animoca Brands; Founder & CEO, Outblaze 

Mr. Bill Tai, Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, Treasure Data / Venture Capitalist 

Ms. Kavita Gupta, Blockchain, Fintech & Media Expert / Infrastructure and Technology Financing Expert 


Watch their videos below



Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

Startup Pitch Videos

During the event, connectivity was not established as imperative, but also an enabling. We began explorations of building the digital solutions that are built on top of connectivity; on the other hand, communities without connectivity cannot benefit from these impactful digital solutions. 

UNICEF’s Innovation Fund and the Government of Kazakhstan have invested in and are working with startups to help develop and scale frontier technologies covering AI, Health, & learning, View their videos below to explore the opportunities that connectivity can bring when combined with frontier technology to solve some of the biggest challenges facing children and communities. 


Mr. Federico BayleCo-Founder and CEO, Dymaxion Labs (geospatial analytics start-up) (Argentina)

Mr. Rakib Islam, Founder, W3 Engineers (connectivity platform start-up) (Bangladesh)

Ms. Alyona TkachenkoCEO, Nommi (hardware-startup) (Kazakhstan) 

Ms. Hyma GoparajuFounder, Avyantra (health data science start-up) (India) 

Ms. Natalya Kiel, CEO, Damumed (healthcare) (Kazakhstan) 

Mr. Rauan KenzhekhanulyFounder, BilimLand (education) (Kazakhstan) 

Ms. Judith Okonkwo, Founder, Imisi 3D (education VR start-up) (Nigeria) 

Ms. Andrea Oviedo, Founder, Pixframe (game-based learning start-up) (Mexico) 

Ms. Andreana Castellanos, Founder, Afinidata (virtual early childhood development tools start-up) (Guatemala)