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The Application of Information and Communication Technologies in the Least Developed Countries for Sustained Economic Growth

image of The Application of Information and Communication Technologies in the Least Developed Countries for Sustained Economic Growth

A lot has been said about the digital divide that exists between the developed and the least developed countries (LDCs). Yet so little is being said about the opportunities that exist in the ICT Sector in the LDCs. This report takes a very close look at this group of countries and advances the argument that ICTs can play a catalytic role in getting these countries out of their current poverty trap. In that respect, a win-win outcome for both the investor and the countries is not in question.

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LDC poverty reduction strategies

The real GDP of the LDCs as a group grew by an annual average of 4.5% over the three years from 1997 to 2000. This represents an improvement over the period 1990 to 1996, when the LDCs grew at an annual average of 2.8%, and it compares favourably with the average of 3.3% for other developing countries. This improved growth performance for the LDCs as a whole is encouraging. However, these recent growth rates are less adequate when viewed in real per capita terms, as population growth rates are very high in most LDCs. Real per capita GDP in the LDCs grew at 2.1% per annum during 1997 to 2000 period, while for the years 1990 to 1996 it grew by a mere 0.3%.

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