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International Partnerships
News announcement27 April 2023Directorate-General for International Partnerships2 min read

Global Gateway: New investments to connect people via universal and meaningful Internet

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Digital interoperability
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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the European Commission have joined forces to advance universal and meaningful connectivity and help achieve sustainable digital transformation.

The new ITU-EC project, ‘Promoting and measuring universal and meaningful digital connectivity’, will leverage EUR 3 million over a three-year period and help to meaningfully connect the world’s population, enabling all people to leverage the Internet to its full potential. The project is part of the EU’s Global Gateway initiative.

Today, the European Commission and ITU – the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – launched the project jointly at the Transform Africa Summit taking place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 26-28 April 2023.

European Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen said: ‘The pandemic has been a turning point, and recent technological developments have shown us the tremendous impact digitalisation has on our societies and economies. New technologies have the power to foster competitive, agile, open and innovative smart economies.

The EU aims at providing accessible, inclusive, and secure digital connectivity, putting the people first. The Digital and green transition is a priority for the European Commission.

With our Global Gateway strategy, the EU supports sustainable high-standard investments towards both hard and soft digital infrastructure.’

Universal and meaningful connectivity (UMC) represents the possibility for everyone to enjoy a safe, satisfying, enriching and productive online experience at an affordable cost.

According to ITU’s Facts and Figures 2022, 5.3 billion people around the world are online today. Yet many only enjoy basic connectivity, and the remaining 2.7 billion people, roughly one-third of the global population, are totally unconnected to the Internet.

The new project aims to assess where countries currently stand and promote evidence-based decision-making to enable effective policy interventions to achieve Universal and Meaningful Connectivity.

The Project will track and report progress towards the UMC targets and will also enhance the statistical capacity of countries to measure the multiple aspects of UMC in more timely, accurate and granular level. It will identify good practices and policy recommendations to accelerate progress towards Universal and Meaningful Connectivity.


About Global Gateway

The EU Global Gateway strategy provides the framework for the EU’s external action. It is the EU’s positive offer to partner countries in support of their own strategic autonomy. This offer aims at narrowing the global investment gap with value-driven investments from public and private sectors, supporting global economic recovery and accompanying the twin green and digital transitions outside the EU.

Across the world, Global Gateway aims to mobilise up to 300 billion euros in investments between 2021 and 2027 with a mix of grants, concessional loans and guarantees to de-risk private sector investments.


About ITU

​The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organisations.  



Publication date
27 April 2023
Directorate-General for International Partnerships