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The Role of ICT in Advancing Growth in Least Developed Countries

Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

image of The Role of ICT in Advancing Growth in Least Developed Countries

This report shows that, while LDCs are, by definition, particularly burdened by severe structural impediments to growth, progress is possible. It introduces the cases of the three countries that have graduated from the LDC status since the category was established (Botswana, Cape Verde and Maldives), as well as those of five countries in the Pacific region, facing the special challenges of being Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The case studies overview the progress made by each country in improving telecommunication and ICTconnectivity and establishing an enabling regulatory framework for the deployment of this infrastructure. The report also examines the impact of ICT in promoting socio-economic development in these countries and presents lessons and remaining challenges.

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Introduction

The Role of ICT in Advancing Growth in Least Developed Countries: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities report is being published on the occasion of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV), to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2011. Ten years after the adoption of the Brussels Declaration, with its Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for the Decade 2001-2010, and in view of the assessments of results to be conducted at LDC-IV, ITU has prepared this report to evaluate the progress these countries have made in the deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the last decade and the opportunities ICT can bring about to help LDCs address some of the key challenges they still face. Particular emphasis is given to changes made by LDCs in their ICT policy and regulatory environment and how these changes have resulted in advances towards universal access.

English

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