İnternetle Hayat Kolay Yıllık Koordinasyon Toplantısı

11.Mar.2016

Statement by
Kamal Malhotra
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Turkey
Resident Representative, UNDP Turkey

 

The Distinguished CEO of Turk Telekom Rami Aslan,

The President of Habitat Association Mr. Sezai Hazir,

Esteemed Volunteers, Colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen.

Günaydın, Merhaba,

 

     Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are offering new tools and services for empowering youth to join cross-cultural networks, attain learning opportunities and exchange information with their peers. It provides advantages to everyone and is an opportunity to be part of an increasingly globalized economy and societal networks for self-advancement.

 

     In this context, digital literacy is worthwhile not only for its own sake; it can contribute to overcoming severe structural weaknesses within society.

 

     However, access to and use of these technologies remains extremely uneven. Those who are not able to benefit from the advantages of the ICTs are being excluded from this transformation of the global economy. It is becoming evident that those who cannot use ICTs confidently, whether whole countries, groups or individuals, will become increasingly marginalized within the modern world.

 

     In the context of the apparent widening of the ICT divide, the underlying trend is that privileged groups acquire and use technology more effectively, because the technology benefits them in a geometrically exponential manner, they become even more privileged.

 

     The main reason for this growing digital divide is the lack of opportunities that disadvantaged citizens have in order to enhance or build their IT skills. This limits opportunities for citizens to:

·        participate in decision making,

·        network with each other

·        build skills for better access to job opportunities.

 

     There is clearly a generational aspect to this. Citizens over middle age are especially vulnerable in the digital world with even more limited opportunities.

 

     Digital literacy is necessary in the context of an open, inclusive information society that gives the excluded an unprecedented opportunity to become active participants in economic and political life.

 

     While aiming at facilitating universal access to ICTs for all citizens, there is a need to focus on developing human capacities to respond to rapid technological progress in an effective manner. The technology is practically worthless unless people are equipped with the know-how and the willingness to use it.

 

     Familiarity and competence with ICT may provide an entry into digital and other aspects of life for those who were previously excluded. It may serve to democratize decision-making processes by drawing more of the population into mainstream processes.

 

     Due to the urgent need and the democratizing potential of ICTs, it is incumbent on all of us today to support an environment in Turkey that will allow for ICT to positively support Turkey’s development agenda.

 

     With this project, we are aiming to add to our existing efforts in this regard which are aimed at bridging the digital divide by strengthening the ICT use capacities of citizens over 35 years of age.

 

     We are very proud to be part of this partnership aimed at the empowerment of the citizens of Turkey and I heartfully thank all our supporting voluntary trainers.

 

     In addition, I would like to thank our main partners, Habitat Association and Turk Telekom, for their commitment to this new phase of our long-term partnership.

Thank you.

 

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