Barcelona will host the UN's initiative to connect every school in the world to the internet
Barcelona, 18th July 2022.- The City of Barcelona has announced that it will host the Giga Technological Centre -which is part of the Giga initiative, a joint venture by UNICEF and ITU to connect every school of the world to the internet.
What is Giga
Founded by UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, and ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, Giga is an initiative that aims to connect every school in the world to the internet by 2030. Since 2019, more than one million students and teachers have gained access to the internet for the first time thanks to this initiative.
Why it is needed
Unequal access to the internet and networks exacerbates digital and educational divides between developed and developing countries, as well as internal inequalities, exacerbating exclusion and limiting opportunities for the most vulnerable children. The need for adequate school connections has become even more evident during the pandemic, which has jeopardised the progress made in improving global education.
Currently, only half of the world's approximately 6 million schools are connected to the internet, most of them in developed countries. Only a fraction of schools in the least developed countries are connected to the internet.
This digital divide has educational, health, economic and employment implications, and also deepens gender inequality.
Visit to Barcelona
To discuss the project's progress, UNICEF Deputy Director for Innovation and Results on the Ground Fayaz King, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs Ángeles Moreno Bau and Vice-President of UNICEF; Jordi Puigneró, Vice President and Minister of Digital Policies and Territory of the Generalitat de Catalunya; Victòria Alsina, Minister of Foreign Action and Open Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya; and Laia Bonet, Third Deputy Mayor for Agenda 2030, Digital Transition and International Relations of the Barcelona City Council.
The agreement foresees that the new Giga Technology Centre will be installed in Ca l'Alier, the city's urban innovation headquarters (it hosts the municipal foundation BIT-Habitat, the municipal centre for urban innovation), as well as the CISCO Co-Innovation Centre for digital transformation and the Internet of Things.