The latest issue 13 of “Making It” from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has the following illustration in one of its stories. The data came from the latest ICT report of the International Telecommunication Union in Switzerland.
The first astounding fact is that today nearly half the world is connected to the internet. An incredible achievement, if you consider that the internet was not commercialised until the nineties, and in 2000 only 7% of the world’s population was connected.
The other, more worrying, fact is the difference between the developed and developing world – a virtual mirror image! This difference would be even more striking if we assume that the “developing countries” figure most likely includes data from some of the emerging economies!
Least developed countries are at a great disadvantage, and it should be one of the priorities for international assistance to try and narrow the digital divide.