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The International Digital Divide. Africa Why the Digital Divide Is Harmful to Developing Countries Economic development/world trade Poverty reduction.

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Presentation on theme: "The International Digital Divide. Africa Why the Digital Divide Is Harmful to Developing Countries Economic development/world trade Poverty reduction."— Presentation transcript:

1 The International Digital Divide

2 Africa

3 Why the Digital Divide Is Harmful to Developing Countries Economic development/world trade Poverty reduction Improved health – AIDS/HIV Education Politics – social/legal/institutional reform

4 Barriers to Bridging the Divide in Developing Countries Telephone access - more than 30 African countries have less than one telephone line per 100 people Availability of education and training Cultural differences – lack of awareness Extreme poverty

5 Focus on Nigeria This is a country that the United States has taken a particular interest in helping The population stands around 123 million, with 34 percent of the population living below the poverty line. The literacy rate (age 15 and over that can read/write) is 57 percent.

6 Focus on Nigeria cont… The Nigerian economy is primarily based on the exploitation of natural resources (coal, oil, timber). HIV/AIDS rates are continuously increasing. These are all problems that can be helped with the introduction of Information Technology.

7 Okinawa Charter on the Global Information Society Created at the Okinawa Summit, held in July 2000 Charter is an agreement between the G-8 countries of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the U.S., seeks to relieve some of the pressures of the international digital divide.

8 4 Major Principles of Center foster the appropriate policy and regulatory environment (this includes offering policy advice and support) help “connect” countries at a lower cost increase human capacity through education promote participation in global e-commerce

9 Internet for Economic Development Initiative (IED) This initiative, launched by former Vice President Al Gore in 1999, is based on the desire to spread Internet access to developing countries in order to encourage economic growth, increase the standard of living, and foster the free flow of ideas.

10 A New Agreement A $19 million agreement signed in July 2000 will reform and expand access to education for all levels

11 A New Agreement cont… establish six Community Resource Centers (equipped with modern IT equipment and Internet access) create a nutrition program that aims to increase school attendence/performance. provide additional funding for professional fellowships enhance overall access to IT in Nigeria.

12 America

13 America’s Digital Divide Rural Communities Urban Poor

14 Rural Communities face the dilemma of living great distances from mainstream society and the tall skyscrapers of downtown cities most practical and economical ways for them to communicate and conduct business with the city would be through high-speed Internet connections

15 Need for Broadband Effect of broadband similar to that of telephone networks, the railroad, and interstate highways Studies have shown that not matter how small the population, an investment in telecommunications infrastructure directly corresponds to economic growth and prosperity

16 Statistics on Rural Areas urban areas are 50% more likely to have Internet access than those earning the same income in rural areas 90% of businesses with more than 500 employees broadband Internet compared 5% for smaller companies 86% of the Internet delivery capacity in the USA is concentrated in the 20 largest cities

17 Telephone Carriers The government has developed the Rural Utilities Service that enables corporations to receive constructions funding This service will allow small local telephone carriers to provide digitals broadband access to its customers Large carriers are still reluctant to help out

18 Power Companies they have access and wiring to all businesses and residences the power companies have an internal need for data communications within their power network Power lines interfere with the electrons in the copper wire; however, they leave the vital photons of the fiber optic cables untouched excess capacity that stems from fiber would easily accommodate rural communities

19 Community Action Rural communities must first assess the status of each community and determine which have the resources and needs to proceed Telecommunications providers are more likely to take action on one proposal or action for improvement from thousands of citizens then thousands of proposals from each citizen Get any and all govt. agencies and companies behind you

20 Urban Poor Corporate Donations Government Support: -In some suburbs of Ohio the cost of putting a student through twelve years of schooling is $23,000 a year, compared to $7,000 in the inner city

21 Gene Sperling, National Economic Council Director: “If we allow a generation of middle-class children, children in suburban areas to grow up whizzing from one computer to another, while a generation of poorer children stay computer illiterate, we will be sitting by as a new divide helps widen the race and income gap we are seeking to close:

22 Europe and Asia

23 Digital Divide in Europe and Asia While Some European countries have been building information infrastructures for many years now. There are still many other countries in the region which have fallen behind. At the same time developed countries have widened the divide with other regions Worldwide.

24 Soviet Union The soviet system of late has created a deficit of technology and technological infrastructure. Lack of computer technology has put the new soviet democratic system at a disadvantage in the new global economy. The old soviet system is partly to blame for the lack of innovation.

25 Esther Dyson Ibs. –Dyson has invested heavily in this Russian software company. “It’s big, and it’s worth fixing.” –Dyson believes that the Russian land and people possess great potential in the new economy. The old Soviet education system was very effective, according to Dyson.

26 Potential Problems. It is not possible to employ the entire Russian workforce with these new tech jobs. There will be some who will inevitably be left behind. However, “ Putting money through some sort of, ”Invest in people,” program is a lot more effective than simply donating it (Money) somewhere.”

27 Eastern and Western Europe While some areas in Europe are at the forefront of the technology revolution, many other areas on the continent are not so privileged. These few privileged have jumped ahead not only of much of the world, but many on their own country as well.

28 The, “Haves” and the “Have nots” Alfred Kagen has outlined a definition of the “Haves” and the “Have nots” Haves are: Those who are at the forefront of this new technology. –This has enabled this minority to leap far ahead of the rest of the population, bot in wealth and power. Have nots are: Those who do not make enough money to afford the necessary tools (computer, ISP, etc.) – This majority of the population has been the opportunity to catch up with the technology revolution.

29 How to spot the “Have nots” Economically disadvantaged population Rural people who are often isolated by this lack of technology. Culturally and socially poor, often Illiterate, elderly, and most of all; women, and children. Races facing heavy discrimination. Physically disabled.

30 Recommended Policy Decisions According to Kalpana Dasgupta Research into: –Geology –Current educational systems –Attitudes of the people toward technology –Current recourses and infrastructure

31 Libraries in the Third World. Ismail Abdulliahi believes that the key to success is to make information available through libraries. –“The goals should be to remove all barriers of library recourse sharing and provide equal access by any individual from any geographic location…” Lack of access to information which originates outside the country is the most serious problem according to Abdulliahi.

32 Even Europe Is Not in the Clear English census stats. –34% of the population do not have a yearly income above the poverty line. –How can these people afford a 600 pound computer and 100 pound internet access on 4 pounds per hour.

33 What to do? This technology can improve the health, education, research capabilities, and communication among the people of Europe and the world. The people, children in particular, of these regions should b introduced to this new technology to help bridge the digital divide.

34 The End


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