The concept of sustainable development goals (SDGs) allows for nationally adapted and differentiated approaches for implementing what is seen as a common and collective responsibility. The SDGs are intended to guide priorities both for the development needed in the emerging countries and for the sustainable transition required throughout the world over the next 15 years. The SDGs include most of the highest priority objectives of the world’s economic, social and environmental agendas and in that sense achieve a degree of balance
The individual goals are not, however, so well balanced within themselves. Some are clearly primarily economic goals, others social and some environmental. Only a partial integration has been achieved of the three dimensions within each area. This is a serious shortcoming since the objective must be to encourage a more integrated approach within each area and each subject community.
For example, the health and education communities need goals that fully express the significance and importance of a fully integrated sustainability approach within their areas, including the economic and environmental dimensions as well as the social.
As a concept sustainable development calls for a practical approach which maximises positive outcomes by recognising the interdependencies between the economy, the environment and society. It is about securing long-term success in all three of these areas by working across sectors to deliver integrated and creative solutions with multiple benefits. Sustainable development therefore requires a systems-based approach for achieving positive, enduring change.
A new report prepared by Accenture for the Global e-sustainability Initiative (GeSI) indicates how the information and communication technology (ICT) sector can help countries achieve the objectives of the 17 SDGs by 2030. The report envisions how digital solutions will contribute substantially to the three dimensions of development covered by the SDGs. In the area of improving people’s lives an estimated 1.6 billion people could benefit from more accessible, affordable and better quality medical services through e-healthcare. Connected road vehicle solutions could save up to 720,000 lives annually and prevent up to 30 million traffic injuries.
In pursuing equitable growth, digital solutions like the Internet of Things and robotics can help bring almost USD 1 trillion in economic benefits to industries from smart manufacturing and smart logistics.
In terms of protecting the environment, digital solutions could enable the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and drive market transformation for renewables, cutting carbon emissions by about 20% in 2030.
Through the strategic deployment of digital solutions, the ICT sector can act as the catalyst for helping the world’s nations solve critical and complex social, economic, and environmental challenges. However Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of ITU, the United Nations Specialised Agency for ICT, emphasises that despite the promise and potential of technology, the world cannot lose sight of the fact that more than four billion people have yet to be brought online.
”Connecting the unconnected and bridging the digital divide must be addressed as an urgent policy priority requiring more innovative public-private partnerships and finance and investment models,” he said.
Where governments were once the primary source of development assistance, today the private sector, civil society, academia and donors are all working together to discover, fund and scale up innovative solutions for long-term development challenges. Some of these solutions have already resulted in transformative innovations that have improved development outcomes. Building the skills and ecosystem to participate in the fast-growing digital economy is probably one of the most powerful drivers for future employment and economic prosperity.
The recurring themes in all this are clearly innovation and collaboration and this is where a global expert in revenue-assurance and ICT solutions like Global Voice Group (GVG) can assist. GVG has developed innovative solutions that enable real-time data-driven governance supported by highly reliable and effective data systems. These innovative systems allow governments, through their respective agencies, to monitor different sectors of the economy in terms of regulatory and tax compliance optimising the collection of surcharges, taxes, levies or any other contributions due to government.
Patrice Baker, CEO of GVG states that: “Global Voice Group (GVG), has pioneered a sound approach of ICT governance supported by effective technology and ICT solutions for government and regulatory bodies. Our technologies and services can be collectively defined as revenue-assurance solution for governments as they help protect and boost State revenues. Their benefits extend beyond revenue protection and boosting—by providing control tools for regulatory enforcement and high-level analytical tools for policy and decision-makers. Overall our solutions enable government control over data and further modernisation of government institutions in order to meet all the requirements of the new digital world. Our telecoms revenue-assurance solutions have been implemented in ten emerging countries. To date they have enabled the governments of these countries to create new revenue streams of nearly USD 1.5 billion to finance their development projects and further reduce dependency on foreign aid. Taking advantage of digital solutions will give countries the ability to measure, track and advance the SDGs within trusted environments and enable true progress.”
The tried and true assistance the company has provided to African and other governments has empowered them to take charge of their own socio-economic future through the smart integration of ICTs. This also paves the way for the empowerment of individuals and the opening of new windows for delivering more effective and scalable connectivity projects.