Digital divide

right reading - visits by region

I was talking with someone the other day about website statistics packages. The image above comes from Google Analytics. As you can see, Right Reading has yet to develop a big presence in the markets of Belarus, Greenland, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Oman, and much of Africa.

More significantly, what we are really seeing here is a representation of the global digital divide. Check out this image of the planet at night.

the planet earth at night - africa

According to the United Nations Information Communication Technology Report, “in Africa, ICT has barely taken a foothold. Computer illiteracy and the lack of access to ICT are widely recognized as an increasingly powerful obstacle to the economic, civic, and political development of Africa.” And Africa Recovery notes that in Africa “For most people even making a telephone call is still a remote possibility in an era when most of the world is now communicating almost instantly across cities, regions and the globe using wireless and satellite technologies to send high-speed electronic messages.”

In the words of Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal, “The digital gap brings with it a danger of isolating certain peoples, those in Africa in particular.”

More links:
Computers for Africa
Earth at Night


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1 Comment

  1. They can leapfrog. Omit some paths like fixed lines for telephones and power transmission and go directly to wireless/cell phones, hand held devices, particularly with the advent of Android, develop local wind and solar power sources to battery power and so on and so forth. It is already happening in many places in India.

    What Africa needs is a lot of sensible and commercially oriented financing with guaranteed hands off commitments from the local governments. Africa has the potential. We are not being proactive enough to undo centuries of neglect.