Lessons from World Bank’s Digital Dividends Report

Technology channels
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On May, 2016 World Bank released a report highlighting the benefits of technology to the world population. The content of the digital dividends report were so good that I decided to share some of the report findings in this blog. It’s my sincere hope that you will learn how to take advantage of new technologies to better your business operations or life in general.

The households living below poverty lines are more likely to have access to mobile phones as compared to safe water or proper sanitation. This access of new technologies makes it possible for the world population to enjoy opportunities which were out of reach before.

In Kenya, for instance the cost of sending money declined by approximately 90 percent with the emergency of MPESA. This is a digital money payment system transacted over mobile phones.

The report also notes that introduction of new technologies has a positive impact on women’s living standards. Women find it easy and convenient to participate in the labor markets without leaving their homes. Check out what one Afghan woman has done to create more jobs for fellow women.

Find out here how one Afghan woman is bringing opportunities to her fellow women through ICT.

Many women have taken up the existing e-commerce opportunities to improve their lives. They are now online freelancers and entrepreneurs through starting business process outsourcing enterprises.

Technology has also brought a new hope to people living with disabilities. Now they can achieve more through the use of the internet, video, voice and text.

Governments around the world have a lot to do because there are approximately 2.4 billion people globally who lack proper identification documents such as national identification cards and birth certificates. This is a serious issue even in the developed countries. It reminds of the case of Donald Trump demanding President Barrack Obama’s birth certificate.

The world population living below the poverty line has a lot to gain from access to information and improved communication. The need for fast and reliable internet prevents most people from participating in the digital economy. This is why all us should invest in proper internet infrastructure and push for reforms in the ICT sector. This will promote competition in the telecommunication markets hence better prices for internet users. We want to witness more Public Private Partnerships projects coming to completion and effective regulation from the relevant agencies.

The government, households and firms should invest more on human resources, proper governance and health in order to gain from the new technological advancement.

Experiences from other countries, shows that a good mix of technological investments and broad economic reforms lead to ‘digital dividends’. These counties generate more jobs, get faster economic growth and enjoy improved service delivery.

Technology channels
Technology channels

Successful Internet Companies

There are numerous opportunities courtesy of the internet. For instance, the report indicates that over 4 billion people use Google to search every day. In contrast, another 4 billion people do not have access to the internet. This is an opportunity for the internet service providers!

The following companies proves that the internet is a source of multi-billion dollar opportunities: eLimu, Amazon, Facebook, iHub, Alibaba,Baidu, Upwork,  MajiVoice,  Microsoft, Uber, Airbnb,  Google, Souktel,McKinsey Global Initiative, Twitter,   Internet Society, Economic and Social Research Institute, Diplo, Enterprise Ireland, Babajob, BrighterMonday, Cheki, Jumia, Human Rights Watch and Estonia eGovernance.  The above listed companies have transformed the way of doing business in various sectors.

Internet has promoted three main elements: innovation, efficiency and inclusion. This may explain why we have witnessed an explosion in the number of people who have access to the internet. In 2005, approximately 1 billion people had access to the internet. As at 2015, over 3.2 billion people were reported to have access to the internet. Truly, everyone is in the race to get connected.

It is sad that only the better educated and well-connected people are getting all the benefits. All of us should call for accessible, safe, open and affordable internet.

New technologies have led to more productive workforce. Nowadays, it is easier to access online-based courses to upgrade skills. New technologies can also promote citizen participation in governance and decision-making.

Leading Countries in Internet Usage

It is unfortunate that the rate of internet use is lower in the least developed countries. These countries need to use it more. Currently, China is leading in terms of internet usage. It is closely followed by United States, India and then Japan.

 

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Editor-in-Chief

Geoffrey Kerosi is a prolific Kenyan writer based in Nairobi City. He holds a Bachelors in Economics and Statistics and is currently pursuing Masters in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) from Kenyatta University. Email: info@kerosi.com. Whatsapp: +254713 639 776 YouTube: Kerosi TV

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