Connecting development

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The Information & Communications for Development 2006: Global Trends and Policies report is out. All sorts of background information available online. Among the report's main findings:

  • Developing country firms that use information and communication technologies (ICT) grow faster, invest more, and are more productive and profitable than those that do not.
  • Between 1980 and 2005, the number of telephone subscribers in developing countries rose by over 30 times. In 1980, developing countries accounted for only 20% of the world’s telephone lines. In 2005, 60% of the world’s phones were in developing countries.
  • Opening up to private competition has led to huge inflows of investment from overseas. Between 1990 and 2003, 122 of 154 developing countries received close to US$200 bn. of FDI in telecommunications. Successfully completing the transition to well-regulated and competitive service provision is key to attracting FDI.
  • While mobile phone penetration and use in developing countries has been great, internet access has been less successful. While developed nations have more than 300 such servers per 1 million people, developing nations have fewer than 2.

And perhaps the most useful of all, at-a-glance summaries of the ICT situation in 144 different countries.

Update: More discussion on Truck and Barter. Also see Mobile Pundit, a blog focusing on India's mobile revolution.

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