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International Development and Digital Communications

Submitted by nicko2 on 11 January 2022

With the onset of COVID, digital adoption has been even more crucial both for "donor" and "beneficiary" countries and citizens.

OECD's recently published Digital Transformation Report (see link below) has some great insights - below is the link to the report (and of course the OECD i-Library access is one of the benefits CAIDP provides to its members:

Global digital transformation is at a tipping point

Fast-paced digital transformation is a strategic opportunity to accelerate progress towards development goals. Between 2019 and 2021, 800 million people came online for the first time – a historical jump driven by the need to work, learn and communicate during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Universal Internet coverage is a standalone target in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but the transformative power of digital technology is that it offers a gateway to job opportunities, improved government services and enhanced citizen engagement, and widens the global digital economy to include more people.

But developing countries are being left behind. Of the 2.9 billion people who are still offline, most live in developing countries. These populations either do not have Internet coverage or face barriers to use. Some 30% of Africa’s isolated rural population may never be reachable with terrestrial fibre-optic networks in a cost-effective way and 19% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa still do not have access to mobile broadband. Closing the coverage gap is essential, but not sufficient: 43% of people with access to mobile broadband do not use it. Closing the usage gap must now be the focus.