Since its inception at a conference organized by the World Bank in 2003, the Web for Development meetings are now well established as a forum for the web community of UN agencies, and international development civil society organizations interested in using their expertise to show how the Internet can promote development. The three conferences already held have evolved to include not only the public sector, but the private sector as well.
The fourth conference, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme Driving economic and social development with the Internet, will focus on helping developing countries bridge the digital divide. As the seat of the UN headquarters in the developing world, the Kenyan capital offers participants a first-hand experience of what is involved in coming up with new ideas and solutions customised for an environment with limited computer skills, inadequate telecommunications and other infrastructure that still lags behind that of wealthier nations.
In a part of the world where in many countries young people under the age of 25 constitute up to 70 percent of the population, the fourth conference will also have a special focus on youth and the Internet. One of the highlights will be a special tour to show delegates how ICT is being used to help young people and others in Nairobi's biggest slum, Kibera.