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From Analog to Digital: The United Nations Embraces Technology

Rarely a day passes without a story on an exciting, or perhaps terrifying, advancement in technology as developers discover new ways to leverage quantum computers, robotics, 3D printing, and AI to solve new and age-old problems alike.

One exciting new development that tech watchers may have missed this year: efforts the United Nations has taken to modernize its work and better prepare itself as a platform for global discussions on the promises and perils of new technologies. Much of this work has been led by Secretary-General António Guterres, an engineer by training who took the helm at the UN determined to modernize and reform the organization to better prepare it to face the challenges of the 21st century, including achieving the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Business Unusual Will Drive Africa’s Quest to Achieve Health Care for All

Africa’s quest for health continues to face challenges from a combination of factors such as natural disasters and pandemics, prevailing high rates of communicable and rising incidence of non-communicable diseases, sedentary lifestyles, road accidents, and greater population mobility. With the region accounting for approximately a quarter of the world’s disease burden and just three percent of its doctors, business as usual won’t work to achieve the future we need.

To achieve Universal Health Coverage, more resources will not only have to be mobilized for the health sector, but new partnerships must also be forged, such as the one between United Nations, the Government of Kenya, and technology company Philips to improve access to health care in hard to reach communities. New models of blended financing and impact investing need to take up the slack to address the scarce resources, which must also be used more efficiently and effectively.