Monday, 17 May 2021: World Telecommunication and Information Society Day celebrate the constant evolution of two most important factors of our lives: communication and information.
The main goal of this celebration is to highlight the importance of communication and how information travels across the world. It also aims to increase awareness of how crucial communication is in our lives while also stimulating the development of technologies in the field.
May 17 marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union, (ITU).
The long name for this day marks the merger of two nearly-identical official days in 2006 by the United Nations. One of the two days, World Telecommunication Day, was celebrated every May 17 since 1969.
The second day merged into this commemoration was World Information Society Day; it was also celebrated on May 17 since its inception in 2006. Its purpose was to focus on the importance of many issues in the area of information and communication technologies.
The annual observance of World Telecommunication Day drew attention to the effort of ITU and the challenges of global communication
The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is celebrated to help raise awareness of the possibilities the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, while also exploring it to bridge the digital divide.
The focus of much of telecommunications activities worldwide is to harmonize national policies, bridge technological differences, foster interconnectivity and interoperability of systems on a global scale. The result is to bring the world closer through a phone call, via an email, by watching TV or surfing the web.
One of the key objectives of the World Telecommunications and Information Day is to increase global awareness on the advantages that information and communications technologies have to offer and increase access to ICTs for a greater percentage of the population, especially the lower income groups in developing countries.
The 2021 theme “Accelerating Digital Transformation in challenging times” is an opportunity for ITU member nations, Nigeria inclusive to continue to push for digital transformation by promoting national strategies on ICT development, smart policies to encourage investments, cooperation and partnership.
The Day reflects on the ICT advances for transition to smart and sustainable development. It focuses on specific ICT-enabled solutions and emerging trends for fostering economic, environmental and social sustainability, contributing to the five UN strategic goals: growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, innovation and partnership.
This year commemoration will take place virtually as part of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) forum. The virtual event aims to highlight the need for enhanced cooperation on ICTs and telecommunication, both between countries and across different sectors.
It will showcase how governments, companies and academia can work together to improve global telecommunication resilience and strengthen ICTs for future crises.
While governments and the private sector have worked together to save lives and sustain economies, the pandemic has highlighted the urgency of advancing ITU’s Connect 2030 Agenda, which aims to accelerate the world’s digital transformation while leaving no one behind.
This ITU’s Connect 2030 goals and targets will in turn contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.