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Digital Divide: A Challenge for Cooperation and Development

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Title: Digital Divide: A Challenge for Cooperation and Development


1
Digital Divide A Challenge for Cooperation and
Development
  • Prof. Driss Alaoui Mdaghri
  • United Nations
  • November 10th 2005

2
The Digital Divide Phenomenon
  • a bipolarisation phenomenon between economic
    contexts that are in, or those who participate,
    and contexts that are out (Castells, 2000)
  • the unequal capacity of countries to reap the
    benefits derived from the diffusion and the
    appropriate use of Information and Communication
    Technologies (ICTs)

3
The Digital Divide Phenomenon
  • a growing asymmetry in the capacity of firms,
    institutions and individuals, operating in
    different countries, to act with effectiveness,
    through the intensive use of ICTs, in order to
    create competitive and innovative models,
    processes and strategies.
  • the Digital Divide becomes then, the expression
    of an asymmetry in the access to knowledge and in
    the capacity to apply knowledge in order to
    renovate radically the models, processes, and the
    dynamics of development.

4
The New Paradigms of the Knowledge-based Economy
  • recognising knowledge as key factor for economic
    growth in the short/medium term, as the
    investments in knowledge are characterised with
    increasing returns
  • assuming knowledge as a endogenous
    variable/factor of the production function as
    the investments in knowledge increase the
    productivity of the other factors of production
  • recognising the inseparability between the
    investments in human capital and the investments
    in technologies, due to the nature of ICTs that
    represent the strategic lever of the new
    organisation of production and markets in the
    globalisation era

5
The New Paradigms of the Knowledge-based Economy
  • diffusion and appropriability at low costs of the
    knowledge resource, available globally, due to
    the development of digital networks
  • the opportunity that the impediments of economic
    growth, due to the scarcity of capital, could be
    reduced through the effect of spill-over of
    knowledge possessed by a firm/sector to an
    another
  • the strong interdependence between international
    economic systems the intensity and the variety
    of this interdependence can increase so highly
    and get transformed consequently into a direct
    relationship between local economy and global
    economy.

6
The Dynamics of the Knowledge-based Economy
  • Globalisation
  • Digital Networking
  • Cross-fertilisation

7
Risks of the Digital Divide
  • Scarce active participation to the process of
    globalisation
  • Persistent isolation of regional areas as
    regards the networking dynamics
  • Limited productivity of traditional industry
    sectors.

8
Digital Divide Indicators The Case of the
Mediterranean Area
  • Networked Readiness Index 2003-2004 (NRI)
  • Knowledge Economy Index 2004 (KEI)

9
Digital Divide Indicators The Case of the
Mediterranean Area
(Source Global Technology Information Report
2003-2004)
10
Digital Divide Indicators The Case of the
Mediterranean Area
(Source Knowledge Economy Index 2004)
11
Risks of the Digital Divide
  • the world economy as an economy in
    disequibrium, in which a net bifurcation
    persists between impoverishment scenarios of some
    countries, and extraordinary development of
    others.

12
Actions to Overcome or at Least Reduce the
Digital Divide
  • recommendations to overcome the Digital Divide
    have been formulated in a Declaration and an
    Action Plan in occasion of the World Summit on
    the Information Society (Geneva 2003) to advance
    the achievement of the internationally-agreed
    development goals, including those in the
    Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus
    and the Johannesburg Declaration and Plan of
    Implementation by promoting the use of ICT-based
    products, networks, services and applications,
    and to help countries reduce the technological
    gap.

13
Actions to Overcome or at Least Reduce the
Digital Divide
  • investments in technological capital but also in
    human capital
  • form human resources (skills and competences)
    that are able to acquire knowledge and technical
    competences and hence manage the structural
    change provoked by the digital revolution, govern
    the modernisation processes and conceive
    innovative ICT-based and context-specific
    solutions.
  • knowledge-based economy people-economy
    minded-economy (Castells, 2000)

14
Actions to Overcome or at Least Reduce the
Digital Divide
  • The modalities through which human resources are
    created and more in general intellectual
    capital (Human capital, structural capital,
    social capital) is developed, become the crucial
    feature of any strategy of development.
  • Reducing the Digital Divide requires then the
    development of national policies and
    international cooperation initiatives, that are
    based not only on the development of
    technological infrastructures (mobile and fixed
    phone networks, Internet, satellite connections
    etc.), but also on setting-up innovative
    modalities for intellectual capital creation,
    through partnerships between institutional,
    academic and industrial actors and investments in
    young talents.

15
Actions to Overcome or at Least Reduce the
Digital Divide
  • The modalities through which human resources are
    created and more in general intellectual
    capital (Human capital, structural capital,
    social capital) is developed, become the crucial
    feature of any strategy of development.
  • Reducing the Digital Divide requires then the
    development of national policies and
    international cooperation initiatives, that are
    based not only on the development of
    technological infrastructures (mobile and fixed
    phone networks, Internet, satellite connections
    etc.), but also on setting-up innovative
    modalities for intellectual capital creation,
    through partnerships between institutional,
    academic and industrial actors and investments in
    young talents.

16
Actions to Overcome or at Least Reduce the
Digital Divide
  • all stakeholders have an important role to play
    in the knowledge-based economy, especially
    through partnerships (Plan Action, WSIS, 2003)
  • Governments have a leading role in developing and
    implementing comprehensive, forward looking and
    sustainable national e-strategies. The private
    sector and civil society, in dialogue with
    governments, have an important consultative role
    to play in devising national e-strategies.
  • The commitment of the private sector is important
    in developing and diffusing ICTs, for
    infrastructure, content and applications. The
    private sector is not only a market player but
    also plays a role in a wider sustainable
    development context.

17
Actions to Overcome or at Least Reduce the
Digital Divide
  • The commitment and involvement of civil society
    is equally important in creating an equitable
    knowledge-based economy, and in implementing
    ICT-related initiatives for development.
  • International and regional institutions,
    including international financial institutions,
    have a key role in integrating the use of ICTs in
    the development process and making available
    necessary resources for building the
    knowledge-based economy and for the evaluation of
    the progress made.

18
The Case of the Mediterranean School of Advanced
Studies in e-Business Management
  • Initiative between the Scuola Superiore ISUFI
    University of Lecce (Italy) and Al Akhawayn
    University in Ifrane (Morocco)
  • Initiative open to Maghreb Countries with two
    Poles
  • 1st Pole in Ifrane to incubate young talents to
    lead business innovation ICT-driven
  • 2nd Pole in Casablanca to implement ICT-driven
    innovation and change for Mediterranean
    operators, mainly SMEs

19
The Case of the Mediterranean School of Advanced
Studies in e-Business Management
20
Thank you very much for your attention!dam_at_casan
et.net.ma
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