ICT & digital divide in the Arab World
The research paper discusses the digital divide, one of the most pivotal issues facing governments worldwide.The paper begins by giving an overview of globalization and why it is one of the reasons and catalysts and perhaps solutions behind the digital divide.It defines the meaning of the digital divide as the uneven adoption of information technologies between technologically developed and developing countries.
The different types of the digital divide are reviewed, mainly the international digital divide and intra-national digital divide are also discussed. The paper mentions the fact that many people wrongly think that digital divide is only associated with developing countries when the digital divide also exists in the developed countries.
The paper tries to answer an important question: Why are developing countries trying to embrace ICT and thus bridge the digital divide? It is important to mention that bridging the digital divide is not a magic formula that will solve all the current problem of the developing world. Rather, it is important to the general development process, particularly the economic development of the developing nations.
The paper tries to suggest solutions to the current problem facing Arab governments that strive to bridge the digital divide. Many strategies and actions are needed to bridge the digital divide. These include the formation of pan-Arab e-strategies, establishment of effective legal infrastructures, and education particularly in the information technology field. Partnership between the public and private sectors is also important and finally the establishment of a dynamic ICT infrastructure and Internet access.
The paper lastly discusses the role of the United Nations in helping all countries of the world in bridging the digital divide and some of the initiatives that have taken place, such as UN ICT TF and G-8 Dot Force.
The full article is available here.