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Wealthy, skilled to utilise digital technology : World Bank

Admin | 9:13:00 PM |
A NEW World Bank report says the internet, mobile phones and other digital technologies are spreading rapidly throughout the developing world.

However, the anticipated digital dividends of higher growth, more jobs, and better public services have fallen short of expectations

Worse, 60 per cent of the world’s population remains excluded from the ever-expanding digital economy.

According to the new ‘World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends,’ authored by co-directors, Deepak Mishra and Uwe Deichmann and team, the benefits of rapid digital expansion have been skewed towards the wealthy, skilled, and influential around the world.

The report says they are the only ones better positioned to take advantage of the new technologies. In addition, though the number of internet users worldwide has more than tripled since 2005, four billion people still lack access to the internet.

"Digital technologies are transforming the worlds of business, work, and government," President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim said.

"We must continue to connect everyone and leave no one behind because the cost of lost opportunities is enormous. But for digital dividends to be widely shared among all parts of society, countries also need to improve their business climate, invest in people’s education and health, and promote good governance."

The report states that although there are many individual success stories, the effect of technology on global productivity, expansion of opportunity for the poor and middle class, and the spread of accountable governance has so far been less than expected. "The digital revolution is transforming the world, aiding information flows, and facilitating the rise of developing nations that are able to take advantage of these new opportunities," World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu said.