Introduction and Background
Technological progress is a driving force behind economic growth, citizen engagement, and job creation. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), in particular, are reshaping many aspects of the world’s economies, governments and societies. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution is a digital revolution that requires universal and reliable internet access; without which many developing countries will not be able to fully participate in an increasingly mobile and digital-based economy. Public organizations, businesses, and citizens in developing countries can harness the transformative power of ICTs to provide more efficient services, and catalyze economic growth.
Under Sustainable Development Goals No. 9, the world set an ambitious target to “significantly increase access to ICT and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020”. However, the governments, private sector, and the international community have a lot to do in order to reach this target and bridge the digital divide. In this regard, effective ICT policy reforms can ultimately enable poverty reduction and shared prosperity.
ICTs in Education
In the present age, the importance of education cannot be overemphasized and the issues facing the developing countries can only be addressed through ensuring quality education for the masses. ICTs can contribute to universal access to education, equity in education, the delivery of quality learning and new teaching technologies, teachers' professional development and more efficient education management, governance and administration. The role of ICTs in education is even more significant in poverty stricken regions where mobility and access to already non-existent educational facilities is a fundamental challenge. ICTs can provide easy access to education with rapid delivery, extended outreach, personalization of learning and interactivity, at a much lower cost.
ICTs in Healthcare
ICTs can play a critical role in improving healthcare for individuals and communities. By providing new and more efficient ways of accessing, communicating and storing information, ICTs can help bridge the information divide that has emerged in the healthcare sector in developing countries, i.e. between health professionals and the communities they serve and between the producers of health research and the practitioners who need it. ICTs can play a major role in improving health conditions of the marginalized communities in the society. The benefits of ICTs in healthcare include: enabling remote consultation, diagnosis and treatment through telemedicine; strengthening the ability to monitor and respond to emergencies in a timely and effective manner; increasing the efficiency of healthcare facilities; facilitation of dialogue regarding major public health threats; facilitation of collaboration among health workers, including sharing of widely adapted training approaches; and effective dissemination of and access to modern medical research findings, etc.
ICTs in Agriculture
The emerging concept of e-agriculture incorporates the sophisticated use of ICTs, which empower different stakeholders involved in the value chain to perform tasks quickly, efficiently, and with greater ease and accuracy. ICTs can help farmers in making informed decisions. Computers, internet, geographical information systems, mobile phones, as well as traditional media such as radio or TV stimulate participation and enhance productivity. By using ICT tools, farmers can get timely, up to date, relevant and accurate technical information and advice regarding good agronomic practices, ranging from soil testing to postharvest management techniques to exploit their farming potential. Moreover, timely information on weather forecasts can help them prevent crop losses. Therefore, the role of ICTs to stimulate agriculture, enhance food security and support rural livelihoods is increasingly being recognized.
In view of the above, the Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT); the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Federal Republic of Nigeria, are jointly organizing the 4th International Workshop on ‘Applications of ICTs in Education, Healthcare and Agriculture’ on June 12-14, 2017, in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria. The event is a continuation of the series of workshops that highlight and address key issues in Education, Healthcare and Agriculture sectors in the developing countries. The earlier three events of this series were held in Jordan (2016), Morocco (2015) and Pakistan (2014).
Aims and Objectives
The workshop aims to conduct a knowledge sharing exercise regarding the role of ICTs in the sectors of Education, Healthcare and Agriculture, and their impact on the socioeconomic landscape of a country. The workshop is expected to expand knowledgebase and capabilities of the participating scientists, researchers and professionals belonging to the Member States of OIC, INIT and COMSATS, regarding the cutting edge innovative ICT-based technologies and techniques used in Education, Healthcare and Agriculture sectors. The event will also attempt to explore an enabling policy framework for strengthening ICT policies in OIC, INIT and COMSATS Member States for enhancement of their technological capabilities for achieving national developmental goals.
Focused Areas of the workshop include but are not limited to the following:
Applications of ICTs in Education:
- ICT-based universal access to education and delivery of quality learning
- ICT-based teachers’ professional development
- ICT-based education management, governance and administration
Applications of ICTs in Healthcare:
- eHealth and Telemedicine
- Healthcare self-management
- Healthcare information privacy
- Electronic Health Records and Electronic Medical Records
- Remote Hospital Management
Applications of ICTs in Agriculture:
- Precision farming and knowledge intensive agriculture
- Global Positioning Systems for agriculture
- Computer-controlled devices (automated systems) for agriculture
- Decision support systems for agriculture
- Tools for e-agribusiness
- Environmental information and management systems
- Wireless sensor networks for agriculture
ICT Policy issues:
- Improving ICTs environment for entrepreneurship
- IP issues in ICTs application development
Who Should Attend the Workshop?
Industry Experts, Academicians, PhD students, ICT Entrepreneurs and ICT Policy Planners, belonging to OIC and COMSATS Member States and possessing relevant academic qualification (at least Masters Degree in ICTs/Engineering) and vast experience in the field, are welcome to attend the workshop.
Partial or full financial support will be provided to the selected foreign speakers/participants from Member States of INIT, COMSATS and ISESCO.
For Further Information, Please Contact:
Mr. Tahir Naeem
Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT),
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT),
Park Road, Chak Shehzad Islamabad, Pakistan.
Mr. M. Atiq ur Rehman;
Sr. Program Officer,;
Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT),;
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT),;
Park Road, Chak Shehzad Islamabad, Pakistan;
Note: The Registration Form and Brochure of the Workshop are attached.