Leveraging the opportunities of the digital economy

Leveraging the opportunities of the digital economy
The digital economy is a driver for innovation and competitiveness. To leverage the opportunities of today’s digital economy, international cooperation is needed to foster inclusive economic growth.

The digital economy is a driver for innovation and competitiveness. To leverage the opportunities of today’s digital economy, international cooperation is needed to foster inclusive economic growth
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as the UN lead agency for Information and Communication Technologies, spearheads consensus-building initiatives that are helping to extend the benefits and opportunities of the digital economy to all
‘Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G are changing our economies at warp speed and scale.’ – Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, ITU
Consider first the power of the mobile phone
Mobile is one of the most far-reaching technologies, and it has developed more rapidly than any other technology in history. The world has seen the total number of active mobile-broadband subscriptions grow from 268 million in 2007 to over 4.2 billion last year
It is having a significant impact on the economy. According to data from GSMA, mobile technologies and services generated 4.5% of GDP globally in 2017 – a contribution that amounted to $3.6 trillion of economic value added. By 2022, this contribution should reach $4.6 trillion
  Technology can improve the state of the world
The question then becomes, who will benefit from this digital transformation
At the current moment, over half of the world’s population is still not using the Internet, let alone new technologies. The risk is that if not managed properly, the wave of technological change might in fact deepen the inequalities between the digital “haves” and the “have-nots ”
As Ambassador Vuk Žugić noted in Venice last May, “The ‘digital gap’ is, today, one of the many faces of inequality.”
The digital divide itself has many faces. There are gaps in coverage, speed and affordability – gaps between developing and developed nations, between cities and villages, and even between men and women online
 How the world’s most vulnerable countries can increase and leverage connectivity
Note the strides that have been achieved in developing and least-developed countries (LDCs). There is a big caveat, however: at current growth, less than a quarter of the population of the LDCs will be online by 2020
The proportion of men using the Internet is higher than the proportion of women using the Internet in two-thirds of countries worldwide. This is extremely concerning, especially when we know that the lack of adequate infrastructure and access to ICTs for women and girls limits their educational opportunities and access to labour markets
ITU is working hard on all these fronts, seeking to promote investment in digital infrastructure, digital literacy, cybersecurity, and local content in local languages. Because efforts to improve access connectivity will be undermined if people cannot afford the service, don’t understand it, don’t trust it, or see no benefit to it. And because to succeed in leveraging the opportunities of the digital economy, we all need to succeed in leaving no one behind
‘This digital transformation holds huge potential to grow the economy, improve people’s lives 

Sep 11, 2018 04:39

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