Small logo Subscribe to leading news on impact investing. Learn More
The Brief Originals Dealflow Signals The Impact Alpha Impact Voices Podcasts Agents of Impact Open
What's Next Capital on the Frontier Measure Better Investing in Racial Equity Beyond Trade-offs Impact en las Americas New Revivalists
Local and Inclusive Climate Finance Catalytic Capital Frontier Finance Best Practices Geographies
Slack Agent of Impact Calls Events Contribute
The Archive ImpactSpace The Accelerator Selection Tool Network Map
About Us FAQ Calendar Pricing and Payment Policy Privacy Policy Terms of Service Agreement Contact Us
Locavesting Entrepreneurship Gender Smart Return on Inclusion Good Jobs Creative economy Opportunity Zones Investing in place Housing New Schooled Well Being People on the Move Faith and investing Inclusive Fintech
Clean Energy Farmer Finance Soil Wealth Conservation Finance Financing Fish
Innovative Finance
Personal Finance Impact Management
Africa Asia Europe Latin America Middle East Oceania/Australia China Canada India United Kingdom United States
Subscribe
Features
Series
Themes
Community
Data
Subscribe Log In
More

The ‘digital divide’ is narrowing



The world is on track to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal for universal and affordable Internet access in the world’s least-developed countries by 2020, according to a new UN report.

Significant progress has been made in the 47 poorest countries, which have all now launched third-generation (3G) mobile services. Around 700 million of the 880 million people in these countries now have access to a mobile network and about 60% are covered by 3G service.

The internet access target is part of SDG №9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), a goal meant to ensure the poorest nations have the infrastructure to foster innovation and boost GDP growth.

Internet access and infrastructure helps achieve other Global Goals including education, health and financial inclusion. Consulting firm Accenture says such goals could push global ICT industry revenues up 60 percent, to $2.1 trillion, by 2030. It’s not unlike what’s happening in sustainable food and agriculture, with mobile-Internet connections boosting innovations in finance, logistics and data analysis.

But access alone doesn’t guarantee uptake, notes the UN. The least-developed countries still require investments in information and communications technology (ICT) skills, education and gender equality to fully capture the gains of Internet access.

At current growth rates, according the UN, less than one-quarter of the population in the poorest countries will be online by 2020.

You might also like...