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Information Economy Report 2010

ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation

image of Information Economy Report 2010

The Information Economy Report 2010: ICT, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation is the fifth in the flagship series published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). As one of few annual reports that monitor global trends related to information and communication technologies (ICTs) from a development perspective, the Report is a valuable reference source for policymakers in developing countries. In the 2010 edition, special attention is given to the potential impact of ICTs in enterprises for reducing poverty and improving livelihoods. The evidence presented in this Report suggests that more attention should be given by policymakers and other stakeholders to opportunities in this area.

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Trends in connectivity and affordability

In order to assess the scope for ICTs in the enterprise sector to contribute to reducing poverty, a natural starting point is to consider the extent to which enterprises have access to different ICTs. The analysis in this chapter shows that the connectivity situation for different technologies varies greatly by country. In addition, the cost of using different ICTs also varies, with obvious implications for enterprise use. With a view to providing a basis for the subsequent analysis, this chapter reviews recent developments with regard to the diffusion of fixed and mobile telephony, PCs, the Internet, fixed and mobile broadband, and radio. The chapter draws on data related to ICT use by enterprises and, where such information is lacking, on infrastructure and household penetration data. Special attention is given to developments in LDCs and other developing countries with a high incidence of poverty.

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