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GSMA and UNDP Strengthen 'Impact Partnership' at MWC22 Barcelona

GSMA and UNDP Strengthen 'Impact Partnership' at MWC22 Barcelona

Defining the role of connectivity in sustainable development and promoting women entrepreneurs from the Arab States

24 February 2022, London: The GSMA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have announced a continuation of their partnership, working together to define the role of connectivity in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Both organisations will present at MWC22 Barcelona and 4YFN, the GSMA's leading start-up and innovation event taking place at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona from 28 February – 3 March 2022.

As an Impact Partner at MWC22 Barcelona, UNDP will support the event's focus on Tech for Good, hosting sessions and developing digital content that showcases social impact examples. One of these sessions – Driving Impact through Aligned Decision-Making and Measurement & ESG Disclosure: A Story of Digital Inclusion – will take place on Monday, 28 February, between 12:00 –12:45 (CET) in Hall 4, where representatives from the GSMA, UNDP, and Orange will share the stage and their experiences in aligning core business operations with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The session will focus on digital inclusion, the power of data and will call on Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to adopt the digital inclusion metrics, being defined by the GSMA with the support of the UNDP, to help the industry align to the SDGs. The UNDP will also discuss the SDG Impact Standards – the only sustainable management standards in the industry enabling organisations to consider all 17 SDGs holistically. The SDG Impact Standards provide a unified management approach that complements GSMA initiatives to drive impact for digital inclusion.

Promoting women entrepreneurs from the Arab States

UNDP will also return as an Impact Partner at 4YFN where GSMA and UNDP Arab States will launch the second round of the Women Innovators Programme (WIP), a mentorship programme pairing women-led, digital, social impact start-ups from the Arab States with international business experts. In its first round in 2021, WIP benefited 21 start-ups from 12 countries. In 2022, the programme will again offer women founders support in global business strategy, marketing, communications, fundraising, management, and pitching.

At MWC22 Barcelona, eight entrepreneurs from the first round of the programme will present their solutions for positive societal impact on the 4YFN Discovery Stage on Monday, 28 February at 17:00. They include edutech, e-commerce and digital storytelling businesses from Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Somalia, and Sudan.

The WIP will also feature in the 4YFN Impact Programme – on the Banco Sabadell Stage on Monday 28 February at 15:00 – where founders and UNDP will discuss opportunities and challenges around the topic of women, entrepreneurship, and the digital economy in the Arab States.

“Through our Digital Strategy, UNDP supports countries to use cutting-edge technology to help accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP. “Mobile technology plays a fundamental role across sectors, facilitating economic growth through mobile money and improving access to critical healthcare services to drive social impact. We look forward to continuing our Impact Partnership with the GSMA, highlighting the critical role that connectivity plays in furthering sustainable development and promoting women-led, digital initiatives through the WIP programme.”

The GSMA's sixth annual Mobile Industry Impact Report: Sustainable Development Goals, launched in September 2021, found that despite the significant challenges posed by the global pandemic, the mobile industry is halfway toward accomplishing its potential contribution to the SDGs, including Goal five – achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. The report updates the mobile industry's impact on achieving all 17 Goals in the last year and explores how to accelerate progress.

"We're delighted to continue our partnership with the UNDP, driving the social impact agenda and highlighting the importance of connectivity and mobile technology in achieving the SDGs. The return of WIP at MWC provides a great opportunity to inspire and encourage female leadership in technology and paves the way for ongoing collaboration between the UNDP and 4YFN to advance the UN's 17 SDGs," said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. "Welcoming them back to MWC22 as an Impact Partner is an exciting step, both in celebrating the achievements to date and identifying the next steps to achieve industry-wide social impact."

Registration for MWC22 Barcelona and 4YFN is now open; find out more at

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About GSMA

The GSMA is a global organisation unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change. Our vision is to unlock the full power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive. Representing mobile operators and organisations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, the GSMA delivers for its members across three broad pillars: Connectivity for Good, Industry Services and Solutions, and Outreach. This activity includes advancing policy, tackling today's biggest societal challenges, underpinning the technology and interoperability that make mobile work, and providing the world's largest platform to convene the mobile ecosystem at the MWC and M360 series of events offering a range of hybrid events at MWC22.

We invite you to find out more at

About UNDP

UNDP is the 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. Learn more at or follow at @UNDP.

Media Contacts:

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UNDP Media contact: Noeman Alsayyad -