UNDP and Motorola Solutions mobilize Rwandese Social Innovators for Human Development

07 Nov 2013

Kigali - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Motorola Solutions today presented the International Network of Social Innovators for Human Development (INSIHD) at a roundtable with local social entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and partners from academia, civil society, government, the private sector, and international organizations. The event was held on the margins of the ICT 4 Agriculture conference.

The purpose of the network is to link innovators from around the world with ongoing development programmes that could use mobile technologies. The main objectives are to bring innovative solutions to traditional development challenges and to improve development outcomes.

The rapid growth and spread of mobile technologies are enabling innovation in the global South. Now in the hands of many, particularly in developing countries, mobile technologies present enormous potential to enhance access to basic services, information, and opportunities for improving livelihoods and lives. This potential is particularly notable in the African continent where penetration rates are reaching historical heights.

Many developers are launching applications and software that directly address local needs. These “innovations” however have yet to be fully linked to government and stakeholder efforts, or be adopted on a scale that makes them impactful. The UNDP-Motorola Solutions event thus provided an opportunity for stakeholders to come together to address this and other issues, identify common challenges and priorities, share insights, and explore synergies.

Around 35 participants explored the rapid diffusion of mobile technologies that expanded communication channels in Rwanda, and opened new opportunities for social entrepreneurs to be part of development efforts in Rwanda and beyond. They also showcased initiatives and state of the art innovations that could be used in various development efforts, highlighted lessons learned and good practices that could inform future initiatives, and underlined the importance of innovative partnerships. Participants also explored how mobile technologies can help achieve internationally agreed development goals such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and post 2015 development agenda.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Lamin Manneh encouraged participants to share knowledge on how to take advantage of new technologies for fostering the transformation of Africa.

The Minister of Youth and ICT, Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana said: “Information and communication technologies must be an integral part of national development priorities and not seen in isolation. ICTs enable faster, more efficient and cost effective poverty reduction efforts. Rwanda is proud to share its experience of SMART Rwanda with other countries in Afrcia and the world.”

Mr. Travis Heneveld, Motorola Solutions' Account Director said: “Motorola Solutions is proud to be part of a global initiative that links innovation in mobile technologies with concrete local development priorities.“

The event was the third in a series being planned by UNDP and Motorola Solutions, and linked the Rwandese social innovators with counterparts from similar events organized earlier this year in Kenya and Tunisia.

UNDP has been a pioneer in the use of ICTs for enhancing human development. Since 1992, the organization has supported governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) to harness ICTs to deliver better public services, enhance the participation and involvement of citizens through networking in the various governance-related processes and issues and foster transparency and accountability. By the end of 2012, UNDP was supporting close to 230 ICT for development and e-governance projects in 94 developing countries, spending close to 220 million USD. (www.undpegov.org)

Note to editors

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. (www.motorolasolutions.com/giving)

Motorola Solutions is a leading provider of mission-critical communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers. Through leading-edge innovation and communications technology, it is a global leader that enables its customers to be their best in the moments that matter. (www.motorolasolutions.com)

Contact Information

UNDP: Minerva Novero-Belec; minerva.novero@undp.org

Motorola Solutions SSA: Dalia Sharabany; Dalia.sharabanay@motorolasolutions.com; + 9726=544432934