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Malaysia hosts third Global Knowledge Conference

The third Global Knowledge (GK3) conference is underway in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. Over 2,000 visionaries, international leaders, practitioners and policy-makers are meeting under the theme Emerging People, Emerging Markets, and Emerging Technologies, in an increasingly technologically oriented world.

In his opening address, the Chair of the Executive Committee, Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) and Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Walter Fust emphasised the need to make ICTs accessible and relevant to the poor.

Fust said that the magnitude of the task ahead requires multi-sectoral cooperation and collaboration to make ICTs a sustainable tool for development. He decried the current global status where ICTs are socially and economically inaccessible for the poor communities.

"Knowledge grows when you share it," he said - summarising a need to create a world of equal opportunities to overcome issues of underdevelopment and socio-economic exclusion.

Addressing the meeting, GKP Executive Director and Chair of the GK3 Working Committee, Rinalia Abdul Rahim said that all regions, gender and ages were well represented at the conference. She said that people, markets and technologies were emerging forces that shape the future. Rahim said the conference represents "solutions-oriented partnerships" and not just a talk shop.

She said the importance of knowledge cannot be underestimated and is key to development as had been proven by a ten-year track record by ICT4D initiatives around the globe.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union, (ITU) Dr. Hamadoun Toure said that the time to act is now if the Millennium Development Goals are to be met by 2015. He praised world leaders and organisations for committing actual monetary pledges that would move the Information and Communication technology for Development (ICT4D) Agenda forward.

With 56 sessions and four plenaries on technologies, people and markets, the conference hopes to develop a common understanding on the next steps to move forward with the global inclusiveness agenda to close the gap between information haves and have nots.

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