Ericsson brings mobile broadband to peace initiative with Forest Whitaker
Date: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 18:53
Image credited to UNESCO/Ania Freindorf
Ericsson announced its commitment to join Oscar-winning actor, humanist and Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, Forest Whitaker, in a new foundation whose mission it is to promote peace among youth everywhere, from troubled urban neighborhoods in the United States to rural conflict areas in Africa.
The PeaceEarth Foundation brings together public and private entities and will serve as a vehicle for an array of programs, initiatives and campaigns in the U.S. and around the world.
"Ericsson's support to PeaceEarth will establish a truly connected program in South Sudan and Uganda," said Whitaker. "The commitment will allow us to advance our shared goal to collectively move our world towards peace, one day at a time."
Ericsson's engagement will begin by providing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions to schools in two locations, South Sudan and Uganda, in conjunction with the global education initiative Connect To Learn. This will enable the PeaceEarth Foundation to establish access to the internet and create a collaborative environment among the participating youth and further develop the education initiatives.
Also through Connect To Learn, Ericsson will provide on-site project management resources, Wi-Fi coverage, and basic ICT training for teachers and students on the use of the Ericsson cloud computing solution.
Ericsson's Vestberg said: "Our work with PeaceEarth Foundation is a natural extension of how we bring our competence to advocate for Technology for Good around the world. We know that our technology has a positive link to development, where 10% of increased broadband penetration leads to more than 1% sustainable growth in GDP.
"You can't have positive social and economic development where people are suffering from conflicts or natural disasters. I hope that extending access to education will help enable the PeaceEarth Foundation further its goals," Vestberg concluded.
Currently, 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by violent conflict, and more than 8 million children have been killed or disabled through violent conflict. Working in partnership with local and regional experts, civil society and multilateral organizations, governments and businesses, PeaceEarth will work to promote peaceful conflict resolution through youth empowerment, access to knowledge, capacity-building and cultural diversity.
PeaceEarth Foundation recently launched an interactive website that gives people the power to learn, engage and act. It serves to connect and foster dialogue among communities, practitioners and scholars, giving people key information about conflict zones, best practices in peace-building, and solutions.
The work of the Foundation is also instrumental to further the mission of Whitaker as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation, and co-founder of the International Institute for Peace.