Mobiles are bridging social-economical divisions

Fishermen in Kerala, AP

The annual Information Economy UN report focus on how science and technology can drive long-term economic growth.

The report shows that Mobile phones and net access are helping narrow the gulf between rich and poor nations. The efficiencies of these technologies have boosted development in poorer countries. Mobile phone users in developing nations now make up 58% of handset subscribers worldwide and mobile phone had become the standard bearer for social-economic changes. In rural communities in Uganda, and the small vendors in South Africa, Senegal and Kenya mobile phones were helping traders get better prices, ensure less went to waste and sell goods quicker. The take up of mobiles was letting developing nations to “leapfrog” some generations of technology, such as fixed line telephones and obtain more instant rewards. Greater use of computers in small businesses in countries like Thailand made staff boost productive. A study of Thai manufacturing firms showed that a 10% increase in computer literate staff produced a 3.5% productivity gain.

However, there is a still big abysm remained between rich and poor and the digital divide is a crude and rude reality, especially when we look for broadband access and use. To make the most of the transformative potential of the net, mobiles and other technologies the UN report recommended that countries update cyber laws, intellectual property regulations, upgrade infrastructure and invest in training.

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