Tech X Society: The key talking points set to dominate the agenda at this year’s CSO Week
Arusha, October 22, 2023 – The highly anticipated CSO Week 2023, scheduled to take place from October 23 to 27 at the Arusha Convention Centre (AICC) in Arusha, is poised to feature prominent figures and tackle pivotal discussions at the intersection of civil society and technology.
One of the highlights of the event is the participation of His Excellency Didier Chasot, the Ambassador of Switzerland, who will deliver the opening remarks. Ambassador Chasot’s involvement underscores the commitment of development partners to strengthening the civil society sector in Tanzania. The event will also see the presence of key dignitaries, including Arusha City Mayor Hon. Maxmillian Matle Iranqhe, Mr. Ahmed Khalib Abdulla, Registrar of NGOs in Zanzibar, and Doreen Dominic, Head of Public Sector at Stanbic Bank, the sponsor of CSO Week.
A captivating opening keynote address on “Tech and Society” will be delivered by Abuubakar Ally, a Tanzanian representative from the tech giant, Apple Inc. Mr. Ally’s speech will explore the future of technology and its significance in various sectors, such as health, education, and agribusiness, highlighting the transformative potential of technology in our ever-evolving society.
The theme of CSO Week 2023, “Tech and Society, Now and Beyond,” aims to explore the dynamic relationship between civil society and technology, bringing together civil society organizations, policymakers, technologists, and stakeholders. The goal is to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration on leveraging technology for positive societal impact in Tanzania.
“We are thrilled to have the diverse participation of key development actors from the government, development partners, citizens, and technologists,” said Nesia Mahenge, CBM Country Director. “CSO Week will facilitate discussions on how CSOs can position themselves in the ever-evolving tech landscape and maximize its benefits while mitigating potential adverse effects.”
The agenda will delve into essential topics, including the delicate balance between technology, democracy, and civil space, exploring ways for CSOs to safeguard freedoms while harnessing the benefits of technological advancements. The event is designed to foster collaboration and innovation, aiming to maximize technology’s potential in advancing social development and addressing critical challenges faced by the country.
Community outreach sessions are scheduled for October 25 at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology’s WISE-Futures initiative, focusing on technology’s role in ensuring accountability, transparency, and sustainable water resource management and Climate smart digital tools for agriculture and market access to small farmers.
CSO Week promises a diverse and insightful array of sessions that will delve into pressing issues at the intersection of technology and society. Participants can expect a thought-provoking exploration of various themes, ranging from the transformative influence of technology on education to the role of digital innovation in elections and democracy. Sessions will also shed light on the dynamics of youth-led entrepreneurship in the digital age and its potential for fostering accountability and good governance in public projects. Discussions will extend to gender equality as we examine how technology catalyzes innovation and empowerment.
‘’The opportunities and challenges faced by women and girls in harnessing digital technology will be scrutinized and aim to bridge the digital divide. Digital inclusion and empowerment, data’s potential for social impact, and strategies to bolster cybersecurity and data privacy for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are other vital topics on the agenda,’’ Ms Mahenge said.
The financial landscape will not be left untouched, with a focus on leveraging technology for widespread financial inclusion. The principles of open data and transparency in governance will be explored, along with an emphasis on ethical AI and AI’s applications for social good, promising a week of profound insights and impactful discourse.
The annual events organized by a group of 30 CSOs in Tanzania, led by Foundation for Civil; Society (FCS). The CSO Week has grown into the country’s largest gathering of civil society actors, showcasing the commitment to driving positive change.