USAID and Qualcomm announced a formal agreement to work to expand global technology and increase collaborative efforts in development.  Qualcomm, a San-Diego based telecommunications company, has been working with USAID in recent years to improve access to technology in developing countries. The formal agreement will give Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Division the ability to carry out projects.

Those that have already benefited from USAID and Qualcomm’s projects are fishermen in Brazil, police officers in El Salvador, and health workers in the Philippines.  In Brazil, the joint project provided small-scale fisherman with mobile devices and applications to connect with buyers, track sales, and get weather updates. Qualcomm was able to equip police in high-crime neighborhoods in El Salvador with smart phones that allowed them to connect to a database to work to reduce crime. Collaboration in the Philippines helped rural health clinics establish electronic records.

USAID commended Qualcomm for being an innovative, nimble, and strategic global technology leader.  USAID and Qualcomm share a vision of how to address the challenges in the developing world. Among the current goals of the formal agreement are to close the mobile phone gender gap, expand access to broadband, reduce the negative effects of climate change, and connect small farmers to market data.  Projects in Africa and Asia are the top priority and future consideration will be given to other areas including Latin America.

The future of technology in developing nations is changing quickly and this is just more step in the right direction.

– Amanda Kloeppel

Source: UT San Diego
Photo: CIAT News