LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Connecting the next billion conference in Myanmar

Myanmar’s ICT sector has been transformed over the past few years as a result of policy reforms that learned from the experience of countries in similar circumstances. Now scholars from abroad are interested in learning from Myanmar’s successes and in contributing to evidence-based solutions for the remaining challenges.

In late August, around 70 scholars from 20 countries across Asia and Africa, including four former telecom regulators, will converge at Inya Lake Hotel for the 2017 Communication Policy Research south Conference. The theme of the conference is “Connecting the next billion.”

In the inaugural session (1330-1500 hrs, 30 August 2017), the delegates will hear of the Myanmar experience from the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication, U Kyaw Myo. They will also hear of the contributions made by Myanmar civil society from two of the founders of Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO), Nay Phone Latt (currently a Member of the Yangon Regional Legislature) and Htaike Htaike Aung (Executive Director of MIDO).

On 1 September 2017 from 0830-1000, Professor Tim Waema from the University of Nairobi will moderate the thematic session on “Innovative ideas for connecting the next billion.” Here, international disability expert Dr Nirmita Narasimhan from the Center for Internet and Society in India will focus on how smartphones can help connect the disabled; LIRNEasia’s CEO Helani Galpaya will share insights, based on research conducted in India and Myanmar, on how zero-rating and other inducements can serve as on-ramps to the Internet; Research ICT Africa Senior Researcher Dr Christoph Stork will make a novel proposal re “freemium” Internet; and Jes Kaliebe Petersen of the Yangon-based innovation organization Phandeeyar will describe how mobile apps can drive Internet use.

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