IGF 2023 Open Forum #135 Enhancing the digital infrastructure for all

Wednesday, 11th October, 2023 (06:15 UTC) - Wednesday, 11th October, 2023 (07:15 UTC)
WS 7 – Room K

Affordable Access
Digital, Media, and Information Literacy
Gender Digital Divide
Skills Building for Basic and Advanced Technologies (Meaningful Access)

Birds of a Feather - 60 Min


    Digital technologies are essential for economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, and access to services, and digital connectivity is a foundation for digital economy.

    The development of digital technologies brings possibilities of people’s connectivity, and the new/emerging technology provides and complement existing digital infrastructure, with desirable speed, coherent and efficient services. Now, digital infrastructure is a foundation for all the economic/social activities. people recognize the importance of digitalization as a driving force for our prosperity and more the private investment is expected to come to digitalization.

    However, regardless of many efforts by the governments and other entities, there are still 2.7 billion people who have no access to the Internet. This is partly because current digital infrastructure does not cover the areas, such as rural or sparsely populated areas, where the services are unprofitable, but people also face the challenge of affordability, lack of knowledge and more.

    Furthermore, the rapid development of digital technologies makes people wide digital skill and literacy gaps, which would exclude certain population groups from the benefits of digitalization. There would be a risk of expanding gaps on digital development because of knowledge gaps among countries or regions. Broader and broader we use the digital technology in the various fields/sectors, more and more needs there would be to learn and get the expertise in digital.

    From this point, this open forum will focus on the way that we developed the digitalization during last decades, and challenges we are facing to enhance digitalization more inclusively, from the digital skills gap, for achieving open, secure, resilient, inclusive user-friendly digitalization.

    Questions would be as follows :

  • What is the goal of digitalization?
  • What role should the governments play for digitalization? What did? What should do?
  • What is the barrier of promoting digitalization in terms of knowledge?
  • How could we fill the knowledge gap of digitalization?
  • How should the public sectors and private sectors contribute to promote digital economy in terms of digital knowledge gaps?

Finally, the session will focus on multi-stakeholders’ initiatives that would lead efforts for promoting inclusive Global Cooperation of filling the digital gaps including developing countries, and how the governments can contribute to such initiatives. 

  • World Bank (Moderator)
  • Government official from MIC, Japan
  • Officials from Indonesia, ASEC
  • Tech specialist (JICA, Mercari)
  • World Bank (Moderator)
Onsite Moderator

Daisuke Hayashi, World Bank

Online Moderator

World Bank staff



Targets: Digital technologies can connect people, improve our lives by creating jobs, develop our society and economy by fostering innovation and economic activities. With this regard, digital infrastructure should be enhanced in a quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient way, so that all the people can access affordably and equitably. For improving the digital environment, the international cooperation is one of keys for expanding digital infrastructure and its usage. Because we need the high technical knowledges of digital technologies, the lack of capacities on digital technologies is fatal. The international cooperation could include not only funding to constructing the digital network but also offering the capacity-building projects, through which people can take benefits of digital technologies sustainably and inclusively. Finally, because of its rapid increase of digital technologies, the GHG emission from the digital sectors is expected to grow in the near future. Taking the development of "greening" perspectives in the digital field into consideration will lead to the sustainable development.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Digital skilling up as an enabler to foster digital development, which was underpinned by G7/G20/ASEAN agenda. Improvement of digital skilled people to enhance the usage of digital infrastructure

Promote to exchange among public sector/practitioners/academia/private sectors, for improving the digital skills and mutual understanding, creating new services across the several sectors, which leads to the innovation.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Creating digital knowledge hub with the participation of multi-stakeholders, to create an environment for innnovation

Increase of liquidity of human capital/knowledge region/globally for bringing a new synergy of innovation