Affordable internet access is crucial to the growth of developing nations, says Tim Berners-Lee

UAE. Affordable internet access is crucial to the growth of developing nations, World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners­Lee said in the opening session of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2013.

He was speaking via satellite link on the opening day of this yearâ€TMs Abu Dhabi Media Summit, held under the patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and attended by HH Sheikh Nayhan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development, and Minister of State HE Sultan Al Jaber.

The Summit opened with a welcoming address by the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit and Chairman of twofour54, HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, who said we must embrace the opportunities presented by developments in technology.

In a conversation with the Financial Timesâ€TM Matt Garrahan, Sir Tim spoke on topics including the importance of affordable and easy internet access for people in developing countries and the issue of internet privacy versus the monitoring of governments and other authorities.

Berners­Lee, who recently launched the Alliance for Affordable Internet Access, said: â €œWhen you get connectivity to the web it puts you in a different class of people. People now online in rural villages in Africa, start to join social networks in their own country to enable business. They join social networks with others countries, which is very important in delivering healthcare and part of its education.

“If there is an important message to get out about an epidemic, or food, or how to deal with crop disease, when you have internet infrastructure it spreads very quickly. It is an important tool for delivering healthcare as well as commerce.â€

Sir Berners­Lee also spoke about the issue of on­line privacy – and said that while this was important, “whistleblowers†perform an important role in monitoring people in positions of authority.

Hundreds of key influencers from the global media industry have gathered at the fourth Abu Dhabi Media Summit, being held October 22 ­24 at the Yas Viceroy to examine the latest trends and challenges in the sector, with a focus on leveraging opportunities in the digital age.

Speakers during this year’s event will also include: Mark Hollinger, President and CEO, Discovery Networks International; Shailesh Rao, VP, International Operations, Twitter; Konstantin Wolff, Founder, payleven; Dean Kamen, Founder, DEKA; Eric Gertler, Head of NYCEDC; Dan Senor, Author ‘StartUp Nation’; Nart Bouran, Director of News, Sky News Arabia; Ahmed El Alfi, Founder and Chairman, Sawari Ventures; Tarek El Kazzaz, CEO and Founder, Qsoft Group; Khaled El Mufti, Head, ELibya; and Usama Fayyad, Executive.

This year the Summit will also feature new sessions that focus on e­learning, social gaming and give local and regional media entrepreneurs and start­ups unprecedented access to venture capital investors via key sessions and a new competition in association with Orange and Oasis500.

About the Abu Dhabi Media Summit

Now in its fourth year, the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, powered by twofour54, is the world’s most important gathering of the leaders and companies driving the transition to a fully digital future­­ with a special emphasis on the digital frontiers of the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, East Asia & China. Simultaneously eclectic, wide reaching and exclusive, the Abu Dhabi Media Summit has become an essential stop on the global media leadership calendar.

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About TwoFour54

twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority­Abu Dhabi, is one of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regionâ€TMs leading media and entertainment hubs. As part of its mission, twofour54 is driving the development of the creative industries in the region, supporting talent and content development initiatives, creativity and young entrepreneurs.

Its initiatives are contributing to the growth and diversity of the Abu Dhabi economy and its campus is home to over 200 local, regional and international companies, including Ubisoft, Cartoon Network, Sky News Arabia, CNN, Flash Entertainment, Sport 360, Reed Exhibitions, Charisma, Tahadi and Jawaker. twofour54 provides a range of services including: training across all media sectors; business  development and funding support to UAE nationals and other Arabs with great ideas; a creativity lab that allows members to get involved in creative projects; and it facilitates world-class content through its production and post­production facilities. These services are supported by tawasol, facilitating easy business set­up and providing ongoing support services. twofour54 powers the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Media Summit and TROFPEST Arabia each year to drive the development of a vibrant film and entertainment industry.

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