Abuja — The World Bank yesterday said despite improvement in Internet penetration worldwide, there was still wide digital divide in both access and capacity while its anticipated dividends in terms of growth and massive jobs creation remained unseen.
It said Internet access remained highly discriminatory and has not really contributed to poverty reduction.
World Bank Group Lead ICT Policy Specialist, Mr. Tim Kelly said there had been no real productivity in growth and jobs adding that progress was still confined to the micro rather than macro levels.
Speaking in Abuja during the launch of the World Development Report 2016 on Digital Dividends, he said countries appeared to have neglected the analogue component of the digital revolution and urged governments to invest in education and skills development to complement the digital component.
He said pursuing digital revolution without its analogue component could be disappointing in terms of good results.
He said while four billion people lacked internet access, six billion others lacked access to quality broadband internet.
He said: “While there are many success stories, the aggregate impacts of digital technologies have so far been smaller than expected. Firms are more connected than ever, but global productivity growth has slowed.”
The report, nevertheless, acknowledged the transformational benefits of digital technologies in recent times.
“Digital technologies-the internet, mobile phones, and all other tools for collecting, storing, analyzing and sharing information-have spread quickly… nearly 70 per cent own a mobile phone. The number f internet users has more than tripled in a decade-to an estimated 3.2 billion at the end of 2015,” it stated.
Kelly added that that governments should create the greatest citizen engagement in e-government projects in order to achieve significant impact.
Credit: All Africa