Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Closing the divide?

It would seem that in 2006 technology was everywhere, that we all spent our days checking emails, sms, chatting and talking on cell phones, but is it so?

Is it a privilege for those who have access to technology? Are kids around the world with lesser access to internet, cellular phones and other communication, also getting less opportunities? let them talk ...

Sandy from Hong Kong - 'In my eyes, the city is well equipped with information technology. Our lives can't be separated from it. No matter where we are, especially in school, computers become very important to our lives. Computer is a necessity; so the government put in a lot of resources to develop our skills in using it.'

Makda from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - 'Here in Addis, Internet cafes are very common, but not many people can afford to use them for a long time. They usually use it only to cheek their emails, not to do long searches. Plus the connection is usually slow and irritating, many youths are really interested in web stuff, but when I give it another thought the majority don't have much knowledge about it. Which is really depressing, there is a lot to learn from it and from the people you meet from the Internet.'

Eddy from New Delhi, India - 'My city is known more for its architecture and history than its foray into technology. But is the situation changing? Yes, it is. Today, New Delhi, like the other metros of India, is being revolutionized to be a technological hub. Cyber cafes, the latest mobile phone models, and all kinds of gizmos - all these at unbelievably low prices when compared to the west - are to be easily found. The situation has improved vastly over the last decade. Technology is everywhere - Even the Internet has technologically improved, with more numbers of people using cable, instead of Internet through a telephone connection. We still can't compare New Delhi and New York but what we can say is that we are catching up fast.'

Erwin from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania - 'In Dar Es Salaam, the thing that youth don't have is money. Most of our youth don't have money to go to the Internet because it's expensive. Another thing is we have few information centers in rural areas so youth lack information because there are few libraries, few Internet cafes and also in Dar Es Salaam there is poor technology. Many youth don't even know how to use computers and we have network problems.'

In 2006, the number of Internet users in developing countries will cross the 600 million mark, surpassing industrial nations for the first time. By some estimates, more than 75 percent of the world’s population now lives within range of a mobile network.

Yet the long-heralded promise of balancing the digital divide remains out of reach for most of the developing world. For the information poor, economic and social gaps are in fact widening both within and between countries.


Blogger PeCus said...

One thing none of this persons mention is the fact that even in places where you do have some sort of connection, there's always the problem of people simply don't knowing technology and/or how to use it. It seems to me that we sometime neglect this aspect of the digital-divide problem, how to we share knowledge, how do you teach someone about internet, when they lack so much knowledge about computers in general for instance?

1:28 AM, February 17, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home