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Innovation for Children brings together Belarus and Kazakhstan pioneers

10 May 2018 17:23

MINSK. KAZINFORM A UNICEF-led delegation from Kazakhstan concluded its visit to Minsk, Belarus, where participants learned from the country's on experience in promoting blockchain technologies and supporting young entrepreneurs, while creating favourable conditions for the development of blockchain for good and building stronger collaboration between Kazakhstan and countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in advancing the rights and wellbeing of children through new technologies.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan organized the mission as part of its regional effort from Kazakhstan to engage Russian-speaking countries in harnessing new technologies in the best interests of children, its official website reads.

The speed at which global problems - from disease outbreaks, to the global refugee crisis, to millions of out-of-school children - disrupt the lives of children around the world is only getting faster. UNICEF innovates in order to stay agile and find solutions to the evolving challenges affecting all children.

Delegation consisted of representatives from the private sector and academia, including first of a kind in Central Asia UNICEF Innovation lab, which opened in Almaty in March 2017.

"UNICEF believes that inter-country collaboration and knowledge exchange reinforces and accelerates progress for children and young people. Our visit to Minsk, highlighted the similarities between our countries' efforts to promote innovation, nurture startup ecosystems and to generate opportunities for a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Distributed ledger technologies and big data approaches have the potential to generate significant benefits for children and young people, especially the most vulnerable. Our visit reinforced a shared belief that there is great potential for collaboration between and within countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia around frontier technologies - to ensure that they are developed and applied in the best interests of the child",- said Fiachra McAsey, UNICEF Deputy Representative.

The innovation and startup ecosystem in Belarus has a lot to offer as the country continues to adopt policies and practices that favour the development of IT industry and the use of digital technologies in various areas. Mission participants visited Blockchain & Smart Contract Lab of Belarus State University (BSU), the Hi-Tech Administration, IT Academy, ITeen Academy and Universities/Analytical centers.

The visit exposed participants to progressive experiences of academia and the private sector in Belarus in driving innovation for children and running a successful acceleration and blockchain school. The participants will apply new knowledge and skills in Kazakhstan.

UNICEF in Kazakhstan invited the representatives of Hi-Tech Park and BSU Blockchain and Smart contracts Lab to participate in UNICEF events on blockchain as mentors to motivate and upgrade the skills of young professionals and startups in Kazakhstan.

UNICEF in Kazakhstan supports the efforts of the Government to leverage the country's capacity to promote children's rights domestically, regionally and globally. UNICEF does so by facilitating beyond-border exchange of Kazakhstan knowledge, experience and lessons learned in priority areas where the country has achieved significant results for children and in ongoing and emerging areas of focus where Kazakhstan can learn from the experience of other countries. The partnership mobilizes innovative and sustainable platforms for exchange and social discourse between Kazakhstan and other countries to accelerate equity-focused results for children domestically and regionally.