. As we said in this month’s Global Economic Prospects report, for the first time since the financial crisis, the World Bank is forecasting that the global economy will be operating at or near full capacity. We anticipate growth in advanced economies to moderate slightly, but growth in emerging markets and developing countries should strengthen to 4.5% this year.
With electricity, children can study at night, women can walk home more safely on well-lit streets, and businesses can stay open well past dusk.
However, Governments and electric utilities around the world are mobilizing vast sums of money to close the access gap, especially in rural areas that are home to those lacking electricity.
So, how can we determine and identify who has electricity and who doesn’t? What if we had the technology and tools to help us see lights from space every night, for every village, in every country? We could then closely monitor progress on the ground. We could even plan and optimize policies and interventions in a different manner.
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
“After a week of business meetings in the cities of sub-Saharan Africa, Eric Schmidt posted a detailed list of observations. As he used to run Google and is still on their board, I'll give him a bit more credit than others who might want to opine after a week's exposure to the continent's dynamism.
Eric starts with 3 positive major trends:
- the despotic leadership in Africa from the 1970s and 1980 is in decline, replaced by younger and more democratic leaders
- a huge youth demographic boom is underway, with a majority of the population of 25, or even under 20
- mobile phones are everywhere, and the Internet in Africa will be primarily a mobile one” READ MORE
Next week the World Bank is holding a forum on public-private sector partnerhips (PPPs) in the education sector as part of its ongoing initiative investigating this increasingly important topic.
Consideration of the formation and use of PPPs is especially relevant in many countries when the use of ICTs at scale in the education sector is considered. There a variety of reasons for this, but two of the most common reasons that governments give in support of the use of PPPs in this area are related to (1) cost and financing issues ("this stuff is expensive, so we need to find creative ways to share costs"); and (2) the perception that competence and experience in new, 'innovative' areas like the use of ICTs is best found in the private sector, and not government ("the IT people are more advanced than we are in government, so partnering with them is a way for us to 'catch up'"). While developing countries as diverse as Kenya and the Philippines are exploring this in a variety of ways, some of the most interesting and varied cases of PPPs to support the use of ICTs in education can be found in India.