The Development of the Digital Economy


A Framework to Bridge the Digital Divide and Reap Digital Dividends

Digital technologies have proliferated rapidly in the last two decades, more heavily so over the last decade. Internet penetration and mobile phone adoption has increased; a number of new digital tools that aid businesses, consumers and governments have been created. While the growth of digital technologies has been significant, there is still a major gap that needs to be bridged. Only 31 percent of the population in developing countries had access to internet in 2014, against 80 percent in high-income countries. The difference in deployment and leverage of digital technologies between developing and high-income countries is still stark. This digital divide is leading to a number of lost opportunities for several developing countries and is impeding faster growth of their economies, resulting in lower levels of job and wealth creation.


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