EU and tech leaders set to pilot digital ecosystem project in North Africa


The Global Tech Panel – an initiative of former EU High Representative Mogherini bringing together leaders from the worlds of technology, civil society and diplomacy to address global challenges – is set to move forward with initiatives to boost digital jobs and skills for human development, including a pilot project in North Africa.

Former EU High Representative Federica Mogherini conveined the Global Tech Panel in New York on 25 September in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, to take forward initiatives to harness the opportunities of technology for human development. These will include a concrete pilot project to link tech leaders, educators and governments to help build a 'digital generation' in Tunisia.

"Our discussions in the Global Tech Panel so far have strengthened my conviction that a new conversation is needed between diplomacy and technology leaders on solving problems together," said Federica Mogherini.

"Whether it’s responding to climate change, global inequality, automation or new weapons, positive change requires a new, collaborative approach if we are to shift the dial back towards progress. This is why both the Global Tech Panel and UN Secretary-General Guterres' High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation have such vital work ahead of them. We have no time to lose; I am pleased that next week we can further strengthen our partnerships and work on improved rules that can keep pace with human creativity, and use it for good."

When they last met in June, the Global Tech Panel members agreed to combine their influence, networks and resources for concrete projects, starting in North Africa. Connectivity will be key to human development.  For every 10 people who come online, one is lifted out of poverty. This ties in with the EU's 'Digital4Development' policy and with its commitment to help achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Tunisia can act as a pioneer for this new approach, and become a tech hub in the region.

Beyond innovation on digital education, jobs and opportunity in places like Tunisia, the Global Tech Panel will also reflect more broadly about success stories in digital development around the world that could be replicated anywhere with the right ingredients and policies.

The Panel's other work streams include Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems and their regulation in respect of human rights and international law; the global ethics of applied machine learning in surveillance, justice and security; equipping the next generation with the right skills to thrive; and future frontiers in cyber security.

The members of the Global Tech Panel are:

  • Oussama Ammar, Co-Founder, TheFamily
  • Børge Brende, President and Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum
  • Joy Buolamwini, Founder - Algorithmic Justice League, MIT Media Lab - Graduate Researcher
  • Solina Chau, Executive Director of Li Ka Shing Foundation and Co-founder of Horizons Ventures
  • Tom Fletcher, Professor, New York University Abu Dhabi
  • Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Siemens AG
  • Amel Karboul, CEO of the Education Outcomes Fund for Africa and the Middle East and Commissioner of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity
  • Cassandra Kelly, Tech Entrepreneur, Board Director, Adviser and Speaker; Co-Founder and Senior Adviser Pottinger Global Advisors Inc.
  • Nicklas Berild Lundblad,  Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations Europe, Middle East and Africa, Google Inc.
  • Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nokia Corporation
  • Emery Simon, Global Vice President for Government and Regulatory Relations, Spotify
  • Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft Corporation
  • Megan Smith, CEO, shift7
  • Mustafa Suleyman, Co-Founder & Head of Applied AI, DeepMind