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Information Economy Report 2009

Trends and Outlook in Turbulent Times

image of Information Economy Report 2009

The Information Economy Report 2009: Trends and Outlook in Turbulent Times (IER 2009) is the fourth in a series published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The report is one of the few publications to monitor global trends in information and communication technologies (ICTs) as they affect developing countries. It serves as a valuable reference for policymakers in those nations. It gives special attention to the impact of the global financial crisis on ICTs. The report offers a fresh assessment of the diffusion of key ICT applications between 2003 and 2008. It includes chapters on the use of ICTs in the business sector and on the impact of the financial crisis on ICT trade.

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Monitoring connectivity for development

In many regards, the diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has gone faster than expected. Indeed, one target set by world leaders at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to ensure that more than half the world’s inhabitants have access to ICTs within their reach 1 by 2015 has already been met - largely thanks to the mobile revolution. Nonetheless, there is no room for complacency. While mobile telephony has contributed to narrowing one aspect of the digital divide, it cannot respond to all ICT needs. Many development challenges still remain and new ones are emerging.

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