World IT Forum (WITFOR) 2016 Kicks Off Today in Costa Rica

Monday 12 September 2016 – The leading ICT conference for developing countries – the World Information Technology Forum (WITFOR) 2016 – begins today in San Jose, Costa Rica with the theme of “ICT for Promoting Human Development and Protecting the Environment”.

An initiative of IFIP, the global association for the ICT profession, WITFOR 2016 brings together senior policy-makers, academics, ICT experts, vendors and representatives from various NGOs and GOs to discuss ICT strategies to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WITFOR 2016 will focus on solutions and strategies to help reduce poverty and hunger, improve access to quality education, promote gender equality, encourage environmental sustainability, improve healthcare in third world countries and reduce mortality rates.

The program features keynote presentations by:

  • Robert Atkinson, president of the US-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF);
  • Chrisanthi Avgerou, Professor of Information Systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science;
  • Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC);
  • Dave Hoelscher, Marketing Director of IoT Solutions, with Huawei, based in Shenzhen, China;
  • Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General of the ITU (International Telecommunications Union); and
  • Erick Mata, Associate Professor at the School of Computer Science of the Costa Rica Institute of Technology (ITCR) and former head of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

Local Organising Chair, Gabriela Marin, said WITFOR 2016 will be a unique opportunity for ICT professionals, researchers and their stakeholders to demonstrate their vision for using technology to improve lives in developing countries.

WITFOR has been organized by IFIP every few years since 2003 in cooperation with key stakeholders in the host country. To date, WITFOR has been held in Lithuania in 2003, in Botswana in 2005, in Ethiopia in 2007, in Vietnam in 2009 and in India in 2012.

For more information about WITFOR 2016, visit



About IFIP
IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing, is the global professional federation of societies and associations for people working in Information and Communications Technologies and Sciences. Established under the auspices of UNESCO in 1960 and recognised by the United Nations, IFIP represents ICT professional associations from more than 50 countries and regions with a total membership of over half a million. It also brings together more than 3,500 scientists from industry and academia, organising them into over 100 Working Groups and 13 Technical Committees to conduct research, develop standards and promote information sharing. Based in Austria, IFIP organises and supports over 100 conferences each year, fostering the distribution of research and knowledge to academics and industry practitioners alike.