This Tuesday, October 24, World Development Information Day is celebrated. Its objectives coincide with those that ProFuturo works on every day.
In 1972, the UN General Assembly inaugurated this celebration with the aim of raising global public awareness of world development issues, and the challenges and needs that are ahead. The day coincides with United Nations Day, the anniversary of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade, created in 1970.
In recent years there have been major advances across the globe with regards to accessing information and communication technologies (ICT). These include progressive increase in access to the Internet and in the penetration of mobile telephony. Even so, in 2010, the General Assembly stipulated that inequality on these issues between developed and underdeveloped countries was very pronounced, and that it is still necessary to bridge the digital divide and ensure that the positive impact that new technology can have on society is a global one.
Mobile networks reach 95%* of the world’s population, but its distribution is disproportionate depending on the area. While in Europe only 21% of the population is offline, in Africa this figure increases to 75%. These figures underline the importance of World Development Information Day. Information technology has the potential to provide new solutions to the problems of development and can promote economic growth, competitiveness, access to information and knowledge, the eradication of poverty and social inclusion; factors that contribute to accelerating the integration of all countries into the global economy, especially developing countries and in particular, the least developed countries.