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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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The status of ICTs in the least developed countries

That there are more telephones, computers and Internet connections in rich countries than there are in poor countries is obvious. There are also more cars, televisions and air-conditioners in rich countries than in poor countries. But the difference in the availability of ICTs is the focus of particular concern among policy makers, academics and NGOs, and not the availability of cars, or televisions, or air conditioners. The importance of ICTs lies in its ability to educate people and improve economic performance. In other words, ICTs represent an active instrument for people to improve income and enhance economic empowerment, and not a passive tool for entertainment and comfort.

English

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