Today is World Telecommunications & Information Society Day. This day is celebrated annually on the 17th of May to mark the founding of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and to commemorate the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention which took place of the 17th of May 1865. The aim of celebrating this day is to raise awareness of the role of communication technology and the potential it has to bridge the digital and economic divide that is prevalent is most societies.
The theme for 2021 is “Accelerating Digital Transformation in challenging times”. The advent of Covid 19 necessitated a need for social distancing, which resulted in increased reliance on telecommunications for day-to-day activities. This, according to the ITU, highlighted the critical role of information and communication technologies for continued functioning of societies and brought to the front the startling digital inequalities between and within countries.
The ITU emphasises the urgency of accelerating digital transformation and advancing the goals and targets of the Connect 2030 to leave no one behind. As a result, it has called upon its members to take the World Telecommunications & Information Society Day 2021 as an opportunity to continue to push for digital transformation by promoting national strategies on ICT development, smart policies to encourage investments, cooperation, and partnership. The ITU also invites everyone to actively commemorate the theme for 2021 throughout the year by participating in national, regional, and international initiatives to accelerate digital transformation.