Monrovia – “Liberia will need help from developed countries like China, which is one of the world’s major contributors and user of modern technological breakthroughs, and which has vast human capacity, in its quest and efforts to leverage cyberspace for economic development and growth,” said Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara, when she spoke at the 4th World Internet Conference 2017 in Wuzhen, China.
Minister Kamara who led 4-man delegation to the Conference informed the audience comprising of representatives from countries around the world that, “the Internet creates opportunities for growth and development and with the resources available to leverage these opportunities, any underdeveloped country can find its way to moving from a poor nation to a middle-income nation.”
The delegation which included Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation, Mr. Dehpu Zuo and the Managing Director of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation, LIBTELCO, Dr. Darren Wilkins, attended several events including a “Tea Ceremony” and a visit to the Huawei Research and Development Center.
At the World Internet Conference, discussions were focused on digital inclusion, the cyberspace and the digital economy.
The internet which is said to have no sectoral or national boundaries is being viewed and discussed as the new conduit for economic development and as such there is a growing need for policies and governance mechanisms to be put in place so that it remains an open, safe, secure and free medium for transformation and economic development.
The Conferences was attended by a lot of dignitaries and prominent members of cyberspace and the global business arena including, Jack Ma of Alibaba.
“With Blue Sky Thinking We Can Use Cyberspace to Leapfrog Development” - LIBTELCO Boss
The Managing Director of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation, Dr. Darren Wilkins, has said that only blue-sky thinking we can leapfrog economic growth through the global digital economy.
Responding from Wuzhen, China where he attended the Fourth World Internet Conference 2017 as part of a Liberia delegation led by Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara, Dr. Wilkins said: “ a lot of work has been done in the Liberian ICT sector to bring about a digital transformation that can allow us to participate and compete in the digital economy.
Even though we still have a lot of work to do to parallel other countries, we can rely on ‘blue-sky’ thinking to leapfrog the much needed economic development in Liberia.”
According to Dr. Wilkins, the Internet has opened a lot of opportunities for nations that have been farsighted enough to build the infrastructure that is a result of the current global digital economy.
He added that Liberia has come a long way in providing the environment and infrastructure for digital transformation and participation in the digital economy.
“Attending these two conferences (GCCS 2017-India and WIC 2017-China) brings to mind two things; that it is high time we work to remove all those barriers to innovation and prepare Liberia for the participation and competition in the digital economy, and, that we combine our collective genius and work collaboratively, to bring about the transformation that can accelerate sustainable economic development and growth.”
At the Conference which was also attended by various global leaders from government, private sector, and academia, a call was made by the Chinese President Xi Jinping for all countries to get on board the express train of the China’s internet and digital economy.
According to President Xi, “China will never close its doors.
They will only be opened wider and wider going forward.” The Word Internet Conference 2017 opened in Wuzhen, China on December 3, 2017 with the theme: “Development Digital Economy for Openness and Shared Benefits-Building a Community of Common Future in Cyberspace”.