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Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Over two billion people now connected to Internet but digital divide remains wide

“While citing the rapid development and growth of the Internet, a top United Nations official today urged greater efforts to bridge the ongoing digital divide and ensure that everyone around the world can harness its benefits.

There were 2.3 billion Internet users worldwide at the end of 2011, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, said in his address to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which opened in Baku, Azerbaijan. In addition, mobile broadband reached more than 1 billion subscriptions, while the use of fixed broadband was estimated at 590 million subscriptions.

“While this progress is surely significant, we have a long way to go in our collective efforts to bridge the digital divide,” he told participants, noting that only a quarter of inhabitants in the developing world were online by the end of 2011.”  READ MORE

Internet Rolls into Bangladesh Villages on a Bike

“Amina Begum had never seen a computer until a few years ago, but now she's on Skype regularly with her husband. A woman on a bicycle brings the Internet to her.

Dozens of "Info Ladies" bike into remote Bangladeshi villages with laptops and Internet connections, helping tens of thousands of people — especially women — get everything from government services to chats with distant loved ones. It's a vital service in a country where only 5 million of 152 million people have Internet access.”  READ MORE

Democracy Digest
Tackling corruption in South Asia

“Corruption remains one of the most pernicious threats to the quality and legitimacy of democratic governance, not least in South Asia.

One of the most innovative responses is, an Indian civil society initiative, which highlights grassroots and alternative approaches to tackling graft.

Looking beyond punitive solutions to corruption, for instance, Nandan Nilekani, chairman of India’s Unique Identification Authority, proposes leveraging information technology to reduce scope for bribery.”  READ MORE

Making a difference through mentorship

“Rapid increases in the availability and power of information technologies are changing the way the world does business and the infrastructure by which it operates.  There are more than 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions in a world of more than 7 billion people.  In the next few years, the majority of the world’s 3 billion Internet users will be in developing countries.  All of these nations are opening new markets, making new technology policy, and witnessing the power of technology to accelerate social and political activism.  Yet as technology permeates the lives of everyone around the world, women are still underrepresented in this industry.

As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said, ‘We cannot forge progress if we leave half of the population behind.’”  READ MORE

The Engine Room
Anti Corruption Tactic Catcher at the IACC

“As part of a joint effort with the conference, we are aggregating innovative tactics in the use of new technologies for anti corruption advocacy at the 15th global anti corruption conference in Brazil.

Starting on Wednesday, the below liveblog will be active. Standby…”  READ MORE

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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite

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