UNDP launches p’nership to restore int’l travel and economic life with technology

United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) today announced
the launch of a new partnership with
the PanaBIOS Consortium , represented
by AfroChampions, on the expansion
of the scope of what began as a pan-
African digital solution to support the
safe re-opening of Africa to travel and
trade in the wake of the COVID-19
pandemic.

The “PanaBIOS-UNDP” Initiative
involves a bridge to an international
system called Global Haven at the
base of which is a standardized and
harmonized testing platform that
enables international cross-border
travel and trade, as well as business
continuity in the face of health and
similar catastrophes, thereby creating
resilience into the future. Since travel
is highly international with
intercontinental hubs tightly connected
around the globe, the initiative
anticipates the participation of many
global actors within the Global Haven
compact. PanaBIOS and its promotion
of trusted testing will play an
important role in promoting the safe
reopening of Africa to advance some
of the objectives of enhanced intra
African trade through the African
Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
– which is a key recovery stimulus
from the ravaging impacts of
COVID-19.

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Through the alliances fostered by the
partnerships, the network will enable
the use of tools such as digital testing
certificates and vaccination e-
certificates, often backed by machine
learning and blockchain systems, to
increase the capacity of governments
to screen inbound travellers quickly,
securely, efficiently, and in a manner
that respects human dignity and
rights.
The partnership will also seek to
realize an international multi-
stakeholder platform to disseminate
technologies to help countries in Africa
and around the world restore social
life. It is hoped that this platform will resonate globally by building on
existing initiatives, such as the “Saving Lives, Economies, & Livelihoods”
campaign launched by the African
Union and spearheaded by the Africa
Centres for Disease Control and
Prevention (Africa CDC).

Within the context of SDG 17, support
shall be extended to initiatives that
bring governments, industry and
citizens together around the use of
ubiquitous, universally accessible,
digital applications for travel
screening, creating safe bubbles in
cities, and supporting safe public
health corridors.

These measures have considerably reduced the prospect of infection through a combination of testing, vaccination and the technological means to verify and
ascertain negative infection status.
To ensure that such digital tools
remain rights-compliant and empower
citizens as “public digital goods”,
UNDP will make a series of investments in standardization, public
awareness, human rights compliance,
government sensitization, and
“algorithmic transparency”.

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Recovery from the effects of the
worldwide pandemic could be
significantly accelerated if international travellers can be screened quickly and cost-effectively without the risk of fake and forged testing and vaccination certificates.

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
said: “One of the ways forward from
the devastation wrought on the planet
by the pandemic is for the global
community to harness modern
technology’s power to reimagine and
transform partnerships for
development. The PanaBIOS-UNDP
initiative is an excellent example of the forces for good we can wield if we put our minds to it.”

As a principal partner in the Global
Haven programme, UNDP shall work
with existing Global Haven partners
and supporters notably PanaBIOS,
AfroChampions, the African Union,
Skoll Foundation, Global Tourism
Resilience Council, Africa Tourism
Board, Chatham House and Esri.
Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant
Administrator and Regional Director for
Africa, said: “In its purest form, Global Haven is disruptive digitalization for
good. Africa has blazed the trail in a
way the rest of the world can take
inspiration from.”
UNDP plays a technical lead role in the
UN’s socio-economic framework for
post-pandemic recovery. A principal
element of the framework concerns
how to coordinate public and private
action in a harmonized and
standardized way to accelerate the
restoration and enhancement of the
pre-pandemic world. Global Haven’s
use of technology-driven trust-based
networks to enable people around the
world to return to normal activities
such as travel, and social outings falls
squarely within this vision.

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She said UNDP is all about leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change. Working with our
broad network of experts and partners
in 170 countries, we help nations to
build integrated, lasting solutions for
people and planet.

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