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ECDL Foundation Forum 2009 - Press Release: experts from around the globe commit to digital literacy as driver of economic recovery

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Over 130 experts from around the globe commit to digital literacy as driver of economic recovery

Athens, October 2009: At the ECDL Foundation’s Annual Global Forum over 130 experts, involved in thousands of projects from around the world, renewed their commitment to digital literacy as a major driving force for the economic recovery the world today needs.

Speaking at the ECDL Foundation Annual Global Forum, CEO Damien O’Sullivan stressed that “while government investment in broadband infrastructure and content lays the foundation for a knowledge society, it is crucial that we see strong political commitment to dedicate public funding to empowering people with the digital skills needed to reap the benefits of ICT.  Only with this commitment, can a knowledge society of growth, jobs and social inclusion be realised”.  With unemployment reaching highs around the world, investing in human capital is more important than ever before.  “Today, the rapid onset of broadband and ICT infrastructure compounds existing disparities which results in a second digital divide for those who lack the necessary skills to use new technologies.  Investment in digital literacy and ICT-related skills will equip societies with the resources to overcome Exclusion 2.0 and emerge stronger from the current economic crisis”, notes the ECDL Foundation CEO.

The long-awaited ECDL Foundation global awards were announced during this two-day event to recognise initiatives and projects that are successful examples of best practice in raising levels of digital literacy through the ECDL / ICDL programmes.  UNESCO Cairo Office, the ICDL partner in the region, received an award for operational excellence for its dedication in continuing to provide ICDL certification in Gaza, Palestine in conjunction with the UN Relief and Works Agency during the conflict at the end of 2008.  UNESCO also received a global award in the category of outstanding social contribution for their work in empowering women with ICDL, in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

While recent times have proven challenging for business, governments, and individuals alike, ECDL Foundation stands firmly committed to building a digitally-literate world to fast track economic recovery.  Experts from around the globe call upon governments to make the right policy and resource decisions to drive the digital recovery.

Contact Information:
Fiona Fanning, Policy and Communications Executive
ECDL Foundation
Tel: +32 2 772 1836
E-mail: fiona.fanning@ecdl.org
www.ecdl.org


About ECDL Foundation
ECDL Foundation is the certifying authority of the world’s leading end-user computer skills certification programme.  It is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated raising the level of computer skills in society and providing access for all to the Information Society.  Known as ICDL outside of Europe, with over 9 million candidates participating in a range of programmes, ECDL Foundation has set the global benchmark in end-user skills certification.