G3ict’s Smart Cities for All Country Advisory Network Expands Worldwide with Appointment of 13 New Experts
The nonprofit organization’s global Country Advisory Network expands to 34 countries with new appointments across all five world regions - Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, Europe, East Asia and Pacific and Northern America.
ATLANTA (June 23, 2021) – The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) is pleased to announce the appointment of thirteen new Country Advisors through its Smart Cities for All global initiative. With this addition, the global Country Advisory Network grows to 34 members working across five world regions.
G3ict employed a rigorous global search and application process to select the following new Country Advisors: Josefina Ocampo (Argentina), Marguerite Amour Awoulbe Manga (Cameroon), Stan Leyenhorst (Canada), Gustavo Hincapie Corrales (Colombia), Ahmed Abdelhady (Egypt), Jose Martinez-Usero (EU Institutions), Eoin O'Herlihy (Ireland), Severin Gragba (Ivory Coast), Paul Mwenda (Kenya), Zainab AlMeraj (Kuwait), John Paul Cruz (Philippines), Diogo Martins (Portugal) and Delfín Jimenez (Spain).
Smart Cities for All benefits from a global Country Advisory Network. This network includes unpaid advocates that promote G3ict/SC4All mission through collaboration with local and national governments, civil society, and private sector stakeholders in making global cities more inclusive in the context of the UN SDGs (#11), the UN Habitat III New Urban Agenda, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Country Advisory Network brings to their countries the global work of Smart Cities for All, a broad understanding of accessibility and universal design for technologies and environments, the UN CRPD, and the perspectives of a variety of disabilities.
The 13 new G3ict/Smart Cities for All Country Advisors successfully completed a global call for applications and interviews with a committee of international accessibility experts.
“The G3ict mission of promoting the rights of persons with disabilities is why I am now their country advisor. With the support of their global network of experts I can better advocate for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in education, healthcare and e-commerce and continue to stress the need to conform with international standards for digital and physical accessibility across Kuwait,” said Zainab AlMeraj, the new G3ict-Smart Cities for All Country Advisor for Kuwait.
Since 2019, when the Global Alliance for Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) redeployed its activities to G3ict, G3ict and its Smart Cities for All global initiative have worked to grow and strengthen the unique network of accessibility leaders and experts.
“Being part of the G3ict’s Country Advisory Network has allowed me to exchange good practices and interact with people facing similar challenges at implementing accessibility in their own countries/regions,” said Andres Balcazar, the Country Advisor for Mexico. “It is a great multidisciplinary community to learn about solutions and best practices for implementing accessibility in digital products and services or the built environment, and ways for adapting them to local conditions.”
With this expansion to 34 countries, the G3ict/Smart Cities for All Country Advisory Network now includes 14 IAAP certified (CPACC, CPABE and CPWA) experts with specializations in accessibility of digital and built environments. The program now represents seven countries from Africa, seven from the Middle East and North Africa, six countries from South Asia, five countries from Central/South America and the Caribbean, four countries from Europe, two countries from both North America and East Asia/Pacific, and one country from Central Asia.
“We know that it is through local leaders and experts like each of these 13 new Country Advisors that we will achieve even greater progress in support of the rights of persons with disabilities worldwide,” said James Thurston, Vice President of G3ict and Managing Director of its Smart Cities for All Global Initiative. “This collaborative global network of now 34 Country Advisorsembodies both a strong commitment to inclusion and a unique capability on accessibility. G3ict is honored to convene and partner with them.”
G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. Participating organizations include industry, academia, the public sector, and organizations representing persons with disabilities. G3ict promotes good practices in digital accessibility policies and programs and provides tools for advocates around the world, including its Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation Index (DARE Index) designed to benchmark countries' progress. Through its division IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, G3ict offers professional development resources and certification to more than 2,000 members in 46 countries. Since 2011, G3ict has organized the M-Enabling Summit in cooperation with E.J. Krause and Associates which promotes innovation in accessible technologies and environments. For more information, please visit the G3ict website.
About Smart Cities for All
In 2016, G3ict partnered with leading civil society and industry organizations to launch the Smart Cities for All global initiative. Since then, Smart Cities for All has defined the state of ICT accessibility in cities worldwide and created tools and a path forward to improve the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons. Our goal is to eliminate the digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons in Smart Cities around the world. We are partnering with leading organizations and companies to create and deploy the tools and strategies needed to build more inclusive Smart Cities. For more information, please visit the Smart Cities for All website.
Udita Singh, Communications Manager, G3ict, firstname.lastname@example.org
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