The Digital Divide – Filling The Information & Communication Gaps

Lack of information impacts on a number of socio economic activities. Their biggest impact is seen in how people and organisations fail to base economic development on the acquisition and application of knowledge.

They need to have access to information that they can use to make gigantic steps towards full economic independence and towards achieving the following:

Improved governance – forging a new relationship betw een the citizens and the state through an up-to-date flow of public information on health, education, rural development, government projects etc.

Community development – rural communities accessing information that they can use to reduce poverty, ignorance, social isolation and removal of barriers to personal communications – savings in cost of communication, better use of time through less traveling especially for those with physical disabilities.

Education – by far the biggest winner, the Internet being used to reduce illiteracy, use of multimedia resources to enhance learning, schools being able to access up-to-date information that libraries increasingly fail to provide, taking learning to where the learner is i.e. virtual learning, reducing class numbers, up-grading teacher skills as job requirements change, hospitals and communities having access to up-to-date information on health matters.

Business – using the Internet for electronic trading and business training, beneficial to SMEs who need not travel too much, reduction in communication expenses, providing market wide information for business expansion, increased productivity resulting and becoming more competitive.

Agricultural development and resource management – farmers having access to market information about their produce, distribution of knowledge on agricultural and natural resource techniques.