Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 14 March 2024

Bullshit: Digital ID Part of Social Contract Between Government, Citizens, Say World Bank and Verizon Chiefs

The President of the World Bank Group, Ajay Banga, and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Verizon, Hans Vestberg, have emphasized the need to close the yawning digital divide which remains one of the biggest setbacks to digital inclusion efforts globally.

The two officials shared their thoughts in a panel during the inaugural edition of the Global Digital Summit, organized by the World Bank, which took place from March 4-7 in Washington, DC under the theme “Accelerating Digital for Development.” Digital identity, they underlined, is foundational in the digital transformation journey and governments must own them as part of their social contract with citizens.

The summit, anchored on the three pillars of “Connect, Innovate and Transform,” aimed at discussing advancements in global digital transformation efforts and examine and proffer possible solutions to some barriers such as privacy and security risks brought about by generative artificial intelligence.

The event rallied representatives from governments, the private sector, partner organizations and thought leaders from various domains of life.

In the panel, Banga and Vestberg agree that connectivity is one of the primary drivers of digital transformation, but weak internet coverage remains a stumbling block especially in Africa where about 600 million people are said not to have electricity in the first place.

“That’s absolutely unacceptable and it’s an issue of human rights. I consider that as important as the right to breathe. So, we have to give them access to electricity. But at the same time, you have to remember that 1/3 of people in the world don’t have access to the internet. And there are more than two billion people involved. That gets exacerbated when you talk gender and age,” says Banga about the connectivity problem.

They also note that with the appropriate policies and investments, countries will significantly advance their digital transformation endeavours, and quicken the pace of their socio-economic development drive.

“The reality is we have to get those 600 million people connected to electricity. The Bank has made a commitment to reach 100 million by 2030. We are seeking to expand that ambition to another 100 million. We can do that, with renewable energy by the way. We have tried it out in Rwanda and Tanzania, and we know it can work.”

Banga says there is also a segment of the world’s population that has electricity but no access to the internet, while another category of people in the world has access to internet but it is not being fully used and exploited for the capabilities that it is possible to support. “So, there are different shades of work to be done with different target audiences,” he notes.

Read More: Digital ID Part of Social Contract Between Govt, Citizens: World Bank, Verizon Chiefs

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