Technology summit wrapping up in Tunisia - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

Technology summit wrapping up in Tunisia

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Posted: Friday, November 18, 2005 5:56 am | Updated: 8:52 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

TUNIS, Tunisia - The final day of a U.N. technology summit explored how people, governments and companies can work to speed up technology and content for users in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Organizers also urged the more than 20,000 delegates attending the three-day World Summit on the Information Society to remain focused when the gathering ends later Friday.

There also was discussion about ensuring that the free flow of political ideas would continue unimpeded across the Internet, reaching regions that sometimes suffer from oppressive regimes.

"We envision a society where everyone is able to access and gain information that will lead to an improved quality of life," said Pehin Dato Abu Bakar Apong, Brunei's communications minister.

Despite the pledges of expanding access and lowering costs, others warned that it would have to be a matter of committing not just money, but time and resources.

"People can see the light at the end of the tunnel but they have to find the ways to keep going," said Marshall Smith, program director for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The Menlo Park, California-based foundation has been developing, and paying for, programs that make educational materials available online for anyone with access to the Internet.

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