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UN Report Highlights Importance of ICT for World's Poor
Source: http://www.telecompaper.com/
Source Date: Friday, October 15, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Created: Oct 17, 2010

The United Nations highlighted the importance of the ICT in creating opportunities for the poor in the latest report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation. The report said that so far, services and goods associated with ICT technologies are creating opportunities for the poor, but these are often unevenly distributed and not sustainable. To strengthen emerging ICT-based services, the UN has called on policymakers in developing countries to make the ICT sector a more important component in their poverty-reduction strategies. It says that more benefits can be secured for the grassroots creation of small-scale enterprises if enlightened government support is added. The UN also called for more studies on the effect of manufacturing mobile phons, computers and related equipment, to assess the benefits and drawbacks for the poor. The report noted that offshoring of services such as programming, and clerical tasks and processes, is still limited to a few developing countries, and tends to employ relatively highly skilled workers. Jobs such as selling airtime on the streets, refurbishing mobile phones, repairing PCs and running internet cafes require little education or resources. The report showed that the opportunities for ICT micro-enterprises to survive and grow are greater in urban settings. The scope for creating long-term jobs around such activities in rural areas appears to be more limited.
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