SDG 9 Courses: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Crucial to achieving sustainable development in local communities in many countries across the world are investments in infrastructure, or, more precisely, in transport, irrigation, energy and communication technology. For a long period of time, investments in infrastructure have been a driving force behind growth in productivity and incomes, as well as improvements in education and health outcomes. However, many developing countries still face basic infrastructure issues such as bad roads, insufficient sanitation and water sources, and poor communication and information technologies. Around 16 per cent of the world’s population does not have access to mobile broadband networks. Lack of infrastructure is mostly present in African countries. Nevertheless, some of the least developed countries in the world have some of the largest potential for industrialization in agro sector, such as food and beverages, as well as in production of garments and textiles. Thus, industrialization in these countries can lead to multiplication of jobs and have a positive income on societies, since every job in manufacturing creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors.

The goal by 2030 is to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. The factors, such as social development, economic growth and climate action, heavily depend on technological progress and investments in infrastructure. It is crucial that the sustained growth includes industrialization processes that will generate opportunities accessible to all people and that are supported by resilient infrastructure and innovation. So far, the statistics show that people around the world do not have equal access to infrastructure since 3.8 billion people cannot access the Internet, while 3 billion lack access to basic sanitation. Three out of 10 people lack access to drinking water.

The price of not achieving this goal is high. Failure by countries to promote technological innovation and improve infrastructure will most likely lead people into poor health while being unable to access and adequate sanitation as well as education. Therefore, governments should set up standards and regulations that will ensure that company initiatives and projects are managed in sustainable ways. There should be cooperation between the public sector and NGOs to promote sustainable growth in developing countries. Citizens should use the social media to push policy makers to make the SDGs their priority. The foundation of achieving this is the technological progress that will also lead to environmental sustainability encompassing increased resource and energy efficiency. There is a need for more investments in high tech products present in manufacturing productions to increase their efficiency and more attention should be paid on broadband mobile networks services that increase connections between people.

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