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Information Economy Report 2011

ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development

image of Information Economy Report 2011

One of the few monitoring global trends related to information and communication technologies (ICTs) from a development perspective, this publication is a valuable reference for policymakers in developing countries. Special attention is given to ICTs in accelerating private sector development (PSD) in developing countries. Many national and donor strategies related to PSD fail to take adequate account of the ICT potential, which has greatly expanded thanks to changes in the global ICT landscape. Different facets of the ICT-PSD interface are explored, including: ICT infrastructure as a factor in the investment climate; ICT use by the private sector; the ICT sector as a part of the private sector, and finally, ICT use in interventions aimed at facilitating PSD.

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Promoting private ICT-sector development

A dynamic ICT sector contributes to making the private sector more productive and competitive. It creates new jobs, spurs innovation, and – not least – supports sustained use of ICTs throughout the entire economy. Recent studies confirm that even in low-income countries, a thriving ICT sector can make a major contribution to economic growth. Kenya is interesting in this context. Its ICT sector has been the main driver of economic growth over the past decade. Since 2000, this sector has grown annually by more than 20 per cent, and it was responsible for a staggering 24 per cent of Kenya’s GDP growth during that period (World Bank, 2010b). Moreover, thanks to technological change and the birth of new business models, many employment opportunities are emerging in the ICT sector in low-income countries. As part of their efforts to promote PSD, Governments and other actors are increasingly considering how best to tap into these opportunities.

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