Nov 20 2019

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Itc share price today-Speech by Lilianne Ploumen at the opening of the ITC Academic Programme It is an honour to open ITC’s academic programme today. Because this is an extraordinary institute and you are a very

Speech by Lilianne Ploumen at the opening of the ITC Academic Programme

It is an honour to open ITC’s academic programme today. Because this is an extraordinary institute and you are a very special audience. When I look around I see students from all over the world. Students who want to make a contribution. Students who want to make a difference. You are the reason I said yes to the invitation to speak here today.

To the freshmen assembled here I say: you have come to the right place. This is where it’s happening. Over the last twenty years, ICT has changed the world. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the next big revolution came from right here: ITC. Same letters, slightly different sequence, similar impact.

The research being done here into the prevention of natural disasters is groundbreaking. And so is ITC’s work on monitoring water quality, by studying the climate and advising how to manage the earth’s natural resources. And last, but certainly not least: ITC excels in developing instruments for viable land administration. The value of this cannot be overstated.

Poor or insufficient land administration is becoming one of the big issues of our time. At present, 4.5 billion land parcels in the world are not yet recorded. Less than 30 per cent of all land rights are registered. This is a serious obstacle to further development. Land is at the centre of all societies. Land policy regulates both access to and control over land. Without property rights, people have no collateral, which often means no loans, no production, no income and no food.

In other words: a sound land policy is a critical success factor in economic growth, food security, nature conservation, the protection of vulnerable groups, poverty reduction and housing. Besides economic power, control over land is also a major source of political power. Giving people the ability to control land will have a clear impact on empowering them, giving them a louder voice and creating the basis for more democratic and participatory local development.

If land administration is badly organised, the risk of land grabbing lurks just around the corner. As a farmer’s granddaughter from the south of the Netherlands, I know how devastating this can be. Some of my own family’s land was expropriated several times. Loss of land often means more than a loss of income. Land is not only of economic value. It has social and emotional value too. For my family, our land was a part of our identity. And the same is true for farmers around the world.

650 years. That’s how long it would take us to get all the world’s land registers in order using traditional systems. But it’s here that ITC shows its tremendous importance. By making clever use of the newest insights and technologies, ITC is ensuring that land rights can be secured more quickly, more cheaply and more effectively.

What was once done with people, parchment and quills is now a job for helicopters, satellites and mobile phones. Not so long ago, the price of recording an average-sized parcel of land was 200 to 300 dollars. Now it costs two to three dollars. Thanks to the practical, flexible and incredibly smart solutions being developed here.

ITC is constantly using its knowledge and expertise to deliver high-quality, tailored education. Wherever in the world land registers are used, you’ll find people trained by ITC. The fruits of the innovative research being done here are enjoyed across the globe. The affordable technologies developed right here in Twente make it possible for organisations such as the Global Land Tool Network to do their excellent work.

The Dutch government supports these endeavours wherever possible. As Minster for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, I work to ensure that the problems of land administration are discussed at regional, national and international level. This is how the Netherlands supports the Global Land Tool Network, the worldwide alliance which works for land reform, improved land management and security of tenure.

I share your commitment to creating a better world. You and I share many similar goals in many similar areas. The links between land administration and women’s rights, for instance, are crystal clear.

In many countries, women can access land only through male relatives. Very few women in developing countries have a documented right to land, despite being responsible for the biggest share of food production. We need to address this imbalance. The post-2015 agenda – the Millennium Development Goals 2.0 [two-point-oh] as it were – must include improved land rights for women as a specific goal. After all, women are the biggest untapped resource in a continent such as Africa. And improved land rights are the key to unlocking their power.

I have another example, because ITC is active in so many areas. During my last trade mission to Indonesia I also came into contact with ITC’s work, but this time in a very different context. Indonesia is the site of much volcanic activity. This is a very rich potential source of sustainable energy. But the country is struggling to get the most out of this resource, and still depends heavily on coal for its energy needs. Since 2008 the Netherlands has been supporting Indonesia in developing geothermal energy, initially through development aid. The Netherlands was then asked to contribute to the national geothermal capacity-building programme. This programme focuses on training the tens of thousands of geothermal energy experts which Indonesia now needs.

It’s great to see a group of Dutch companies and knowledge institutions, led by ITC, offering Indonesia the support it wants. Through a public-private partnership these Dutch companies and institutes provide training and develop long-term education programmes based on their unique expertise. What’s more, the companies aren’t doing this simply with a view to corporate social responsibility. Their involvement gives them a front row seat in the development of a huge new investment programme. And the strategy is clearly working. The first commercial contract came within months of the launch: a geothermal cooling system for the headquarters of Pertamina, Indonesia’s state oil company.

For me, this is a perfect example of how aid and trade go hand in hand. And how research centres and universities can work with the private and public sectors. It’s an exciting prospect that this initiative is now being extended as a trilateral partnership to East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, where countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia are also planning large-scale geothermal investment. Similar innovative partnerships are turning climate change into a business opportunity for the Dutch cleantech sector.

For many years, ITC and the University of Twente have been training experts from all over the world. My ministry provides grants to mid-career professionals from developing countries so that they can follow courses at ITC. And it’s working. Now, I even meet energy ministers who started out as students in Twente. Maybe I should start collecting your business cards already! […] Together with Twente’s alumni, you form a network of more than 20,000 experts from all corners of the globe. You all share the desire to make a contribution. And you all chose to study here at the University of Twente. The opening of this academic year heralds a year full of learning, research and new friendships. I look forward to working with you to create a better world.


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SOURCE: http://www.government.nl/issues/development-cooperation/documents-and-publications/speeches/2014/10/01/speech-by-lilianne-ploumen-at-the-opening-of-the-itc-academic-programme.html

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