Saturday, March 19, 2005

Mobile phones and the digital divide

From the Economist... availability of mobile phones has more impact on economic development in developing countries than access to the Internet. You don't have to be able to read to use a mobile phone... plus you don't need electricity. Another article reports how people on the ground see use of ICT as a development tool, unsurprisingly any benefits are mainly seen by those who are literate and in reasonable health.
One of the problems of realising benefits (where they exist) is that it's very difficult to quantify the benefits economically. Some work in this area was described by Professor Nicholas Crafts at the London School of Economics on Tuesday. He compares the economic benefits of ICT vs the Steam Engine.


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