The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Nanjira Sambuli as a member of the high-level panel on digital co-operation at the global body.
MS Sambuli is a Kenyan and renowned Digital Equality Advocacy Manager at the World Wide Web Foundation. A University of Nairobi alumnus, she previously worked for the Department for International Development (DFID) as well as at the iHub in Nairobi.
Announcing the appointment, Mr Guterres also picked ICT advocate and entrepreneur Akaliza Keza Ntwari of Rwanda as the only other African in the panel. Kenya is known for its mobile phone-based money transfer platform M-PESA, while Rwanda has made progress in its universal internet connectivity.
Ms Melinda Gates and Mr Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group were appointed Co-chairs of the Panel.
Guterres noted that digital technologies make a significant contribution to realisation of Sustainable Development Goals and that they cut uniquely across international boundaries. "The scale, spread and speed of change made possible by digital technologies is unprecedented, but the current means and levels of international cooperation are unequal to the challenge,” Guterres said.
The panel, which has 20 members, will identify policy, research and information gaps and make proposals to strengthen international cooperation in the digital space. It will hold its first in-person meeting in late September 2018 and is expected to submit its final report in nine months.