UNCTAD Conferences


The highest decision-making body of UNCTAD is the quadrennial conference, at which member States make assessments of current trade and development issues, discuss policy options and formulate global policy responses. The conference also sets the organisation’s mandate and work priorities.

Under the framework of UNCTAD’s Conferences the TRAINFORTRADE progamme has developed the flowing activities:

ICT for knowledge sharing, UNCTAD XIII

Knowledge plays a key role in today’s globalized world. It enables firms and organizations to increase their competitiveness through a better understanding of the most important issues of economic development. As Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) support, accelerate and improve the sharing of information among firms and individuals, they change the way people learn and network. With the expansion of 3G/4G coverage, cell phones, smartphones and tablets have made access to information much easier.

The development of the Web 3.0, of cloud learning and M-learning provide efficient solutions for the storage, dissemination, and acquisition of information It becomes now possible to access the right knowledge at the right time. And along with promoting interactive and collaborative learning, the evolution of ICTs has also begun to facilitate the adaptation of training programmes to specific country needs and local context. As active users of ICTs goods and services, Developing Countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs), are in a good position to benefit from innovative technologies to share knowledge.

Session 1

Opening and introductory remarks

Session 2

Technological solutions and e-learning

IDA Singapore presentation

SELA presentation

ICT Qatar

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Session 3

M-learning, Cloud-learning, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, Technology incubators

Session 4


E-Learning: Leapfrogging Skills Development, UNCTAD 14

Thursday, 21 July, 08:00-09:00, KICC TSAVO 3 room, Nairobi, Kenya

Building productive capacity to transform economies

Building a solid knowledge base is a critical element in ensuring that developing countries have the capacity to maximize the benefits of globalization and trade for development. It is also an increasingly complex task in light of the need for integrated treatment of trade, finance, investment, and technology.

Developing countries need to build their own know-how, human capital, and skills capacity to improve the design and application of policies governing their participation in the global economy. But rapid technological advancements are also providing new opportunities for the scaling up of efforts on skills development.

This side event will examine how e-learning tools, ICTs, and innovative knowledge strategies can be better exploited to assist developing countries in leapfrogging in their skills development for trade capacity building and, thereby, support sustainable and inclusive development.


Adrian Holzer, Doctor, Deputy Head React Group (SCI-STI-DG), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland


  • Nivi Sharma, President, BRCK Education, Kenya
  • Denis Gillet, Professor, Head React Group (SCI-STI-DG), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Reza Ali, Director of New Ventures, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Syngapore
  • Mr. Michael M. Murungi, Public Policy & Government Relations Manager, East Africa, Google Kenya Ltd

Reza Ali
Director of New Ventures
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
(ACCA), Singapore

As Director of New Ventures, Reza is responsible for the overall delivery of ACCA-X, ACCA’s (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) pilot initiative to provide digital learning to students. Prior to his current role, Reza worked across a number of different roles within ACCA and was previously the Head of Emerging Markets Asia, where he led ACCA’s developments across a number of markets including South Korea, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Brunei and ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). He was also part of ACCA’s Strategy team to support the development of ACCA’s strategy to 2020. Reza was previously an auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) within the Assurance and Business Advisory Services (ABAS) in London and later became the Head of Finance and Operations at a brokerage firm in Singapore that dealt primarily with government agencies in the South Asian subcontinent.

Reza graduated with a First Class (Honours) in Business Studies and Finance from Lancaster University where he was the recipient of the Philip Andrews Memorial Prize for Economics. He is also an ACCA member. Reza speaks regularly to ACCA’s key stakeholders on key economic trends, learning and technology, sustainability, climate change, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), accounting and policy updates and sustainability matters. He also wrote a booklet in 2008 entitled “Sustainability Reporting Handbook for Singaporean Companies” to encourage sustainability reporting within corporate Singapore. Reza’s other interests include farming Tamil Nadu, South India where he is from and blogs regularly.

Geneviève Féraud
Head of the Knowledge Development Branch
UNCTAD, Switzerland

Dr. Geneviève Féraud is the Head of the Knowledge Development Branch of UNCTAD. She joined the United Nations in 2003 as Deputy Director, Programmes, of the United Nations System Staff College, became the Head of the ICT and E-Business Branch of UNCTAD in 2004, and was appointed to her current position in 2007. Before joining the UN, Geneviève Féraud started her career in 1981 with IBM, and then held several leading positions with private companies in the field of information systems. She then received her PhD on the strategic management of information systems in 1995 in the University of Aix-Marseille, France, and holds two post-doc degrees: the International Teachers Programme (Henley Management College and London Business School) and the French Certification to lead Ph.D. candidates.

Having become a tenured academic, she then conducted her research and teaching assignments in several European and American universities, including as Visiting Faculty in the Harvard Business School. She led numerous executive development programs and developed at the same time an extensive international consulting activity with large-size European and American companies, including The Coca-Cola Company (USA), Volvo (S), Adam Opel AG (G), General Motors (G, USA), Honeywell (USA), Siemens (B, NL), Novo Nordisk (DK), Akzo Nobel (NL), among others. Geneviève has authored numerous publications on strategy, technology and leadership in leading academic research journals, as well as a book on technology strategies, published in 2009 by Economica, the leading French academic publisher.

Denis Gillet
Head of the React Group Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne
(EPFL), Switzerland

Dr. Denis Gillet is a faculty member at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) where he leads the React multi-disciplinary research group. His current research interests include Digital Education, Knowledge Management and Cyber Physical Systems. In 1992 he was appointed as Research Fellow at the Information Systems Laboratory of Stanford University in the United States. During the academic year 2005-2006 he was on sabbatical leave as Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Between 2011 and 2013, he was Guest Professor at the School of Software Engineering, Tongji University, to act as an expert on smart cities. Denis Gillet is affiliated at EPFL with the Center for Digital Education and the Transportation Center. He is currently the technical coordinator of the 13M€ Go-Lab European project on inquiry learning with online labs at school. Finally, Dr. Denis Gillet also leads various collaborative research projects dealing with agile knowledge management and competence development in the humanitarian field.

Adrian Holzer
Research Associate
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne
(EPFL), Switzerland

Dr Adrian Holzer is currently research associate and a lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in the Coordination & Interaction Systems Group (REACT). In 2009, he obtained his PhD in Information Systems at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He then received a grant from the Swiss SNF to work as postdoctoral fellow at Polytechnique Montreal in the Mobile Computing and Networking Research Laboratory (LARIM) from 2010 to 2011. His research and teaching activities focus on mobile social media interaction in the learning and humanitarian contexts. Furthermore, leads the design of the SpeakUp app for classroom interaction and is actively involved in the design of the Graasp platform for knowledge sharing in and across organisations.

Nivi Sharma
BRCK Education, Kenya

Nivi Sharma is the President of BRCK Education (education.BRCK.com) and a co-founder of eLimu (e-Limu.org). She is a thought leader in Education Technology for emerging markets. As a social entrepreneur, voluneer and technophile, she has dedicated her career to education and is passionate about digital access and community initiatives that foster learning through fun. She is also a 2014 East Africa Acumen fellow.

Michael Murungi
Policy and Government Relations Manager for East Africa
Google, Kenya

Michael M. Murungi Google’s Policy and Government Relations Manager for East Africa. Previously, he was the CEO of Kenya’s National Council for Law Reporting, where he worked on providing access to public legal information and the adoption of open access policies for government information. As an ICT legal expert, he participated at local and regional levels in the formulation of appropriate laws and policies for cyberspace and contributed to the International Encyclopaedia of Cyberlaw.

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