INTERVIEW: Rangu Salgame, chairman of the Next 3B initiative (pictured), was heartened by the broad level of mobile industry backing for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically a bid to end poverty.
Salgame told Mobile World Live the industry’s support for the poverty SDG was evident during the recent Mobile World Congress Shanghai, where “a number of CEOs” had talked about “how mobile can make a difference for ending poverty”.
“I think that has been heartening to see and our project fits right in [with] that belief and in that vision,” Salgame said.
The Next 3B initiative was established two years ago with a focus on delivering connectivity to the developing world to bring about “social and economic change”. For example, a forthcoming trial in Rwanda aims to “bring digital tools and smartphones for empowering women and entrepreneurs”.
Salgame explained the majority of the next 3 billion online connections will be delivered by market forces. The real challenge, therefore, is delivering connectivity to the 10 per cent to 20 per cent Next 3B estimates will not be subject to market influence – a group Salgame called the “marginalised part of the society”.
Failing to be proactive in this means: “they will be left behind and that will be a huge missed opportunity for us as a world in terms of social and economic opportunity.”
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