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ITU Academy Launched to Strengthen Capacity Development in ICT
Source: itu.int
Source Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Created: Nov 01, 2012

Geneva, 23 October 2012 – The Global ICT Forum on Human Capacity Development in Capetown, South Africa, focused on the migration of analogue to digital broadcasting, was inaugurated today by Minister of Communications of South Africa Ms Dina Pule.

ITU released a publication on the Digital Dividend: ‘Insights for Spectrum Decisions’ and conducted information sessions on understanding the transition process from analogue to digital broadcasting. The Report explores the human capacity development implications of this transition and addresses how organizations and nations can prepare human capital for a digital economy.

ITU also launched the ITU Academy, an integrated approach to delivery of training through an e-Learning platform that will run interdisciplinary courses catering for a wide range of ICT educational needs.

Discussions at the Global ICT Forum on Human Capacity Development centred on ICTs for capacity building and explored e-Learning trends, strategies and perspectives as well as innovative uses of mobile devices for knowledge dissemination.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré reiterated the need to expedite the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting and noted that capacity building lies at the heart of future ICT development. “Digital broadcasting is the future, and it is essential that we make the transition sooner than later to keep pace with the fast pace of change in the ICT sector,” Dr Touré said.

‘Digital Dividend’ explained
Speaking on different occasions, Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau noted that ITU recognizes the need to provide a detailed insight into what the digital dividend process entails and to help decision makers allocate and manage spectrum and the digital dividend process. He explained that the digital dividend is the amount of spectrum freed up by the transition of terrestrial television broadcasting from analogue to digital.

“Digital broadcasting is inherently more efficient than analogue,” Sanou said. “Spectrum efficiency gained by the transition of terrestrial analogue television to digital is the ‘dividend’ that provides a win-win situation for both consumers and the industry, with more choice and quality in television services for users and new revenue streams and business models for operators and service providers.”

Guidelines in the Report provide a framework for developing a roadmap for the analogue to digital transition process, comprising 43 functional building blocks, with one specifically dealing with the digital dividend.

The Global ICT Forum discussions on the transition and the ensuing digital dividend examined the strategic intent and importance of the transition as well as policy, regulatory, technical and human capacity building implications.

Mr François Rancy, Director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau, stated: “Decisions on the allocation of the digital dividend are among the most important that need to be taken by regulators and governments in the coming years. These decisions will to a large extent determine the ability of populations to access the Internet and broadband. ITU is happy to contribute to exchange experience and best practices on this important matter.”

New ITU Academy launched
Speaking at the launch of the ITU Academy, Mr Sanou said, “The ITU Academy will respond to demand for knowledge and skills in information and communication technology (ICT) training, teaching and research. The Academy will offer a wide and growing range of general and specialized courses on all aspects of telecommunications/ICT in Radiocommunication, Telecommunication Standardization and Telecommunication Development.”

Programmes in the ITU Academy will be delivered both by traditional, face-to-face means as well as online learning. The programmes will be designed to equip an expanding number of target groups with the specialist knowledge and tools needed in the rapidly evolving domain of telecommunications/ICT and to use the skills and related technology in the creation of a ‘Knowledge Society’.
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