Opening Plenary: Regional Trends – Spotlight on Digital Inclusion

Opening Plenary: Regional Trends – Spotlight on Digital Inclusion

According to the ICT Development Index (IDI), nearly all countries in the world saw improvements to their ICT technologies in 2016, however the gap between the highest and lowest performing countries (one measure of the digital divide) has remained almost unchanged since 2015 (ITU, 2017a). 

Key discussions for this session will center on; 

  • The role of mobile technology in accelerating digital inclusion and improving the socio-economic conditions of underserved populations in high GDP markets.
  • Proportion of women using the Internet is 12% lower than the proportion of men using the Internet worldwide (ITU, 2017b). While this gap of women using the internet has narrowed in most regions since 2013, it has widened in Africa. What are the contributing factors to this?
  • Technology is often presented as a silver bullet solution to international development challenges such as inclusion, however, to what extent  can it exclude rather than include?