We used to always see the poverty gap as the big gap in the world. This is still a huge issue, especially for the leadt developed countries (LDCs) and in years with draught and other disasters.
However as proven by the Millenium Development Goals Agenda, it is possible today to address the issue of poverty and the world is getting better in this sense. It is possible to erase poverty. We are the generation that will do it. This is our priority.
Having said this, we need to start acknowledging that there are new gaps emerging.
One of the biggest challenges for the future is the digital divide – the lack of access to Internet and the opportunities given by the new netwroks and technolgies. While we know that there today are more people in the developing world with access to smart phones than to clean water, there is a huge part of the world population that are shut out from the most important communication platform ever know to mankind. These people are not only left out of the communities, social media, information flow, but more importantly they are without access to faster procesing, paperless effecient systems, information demands and requirements from the international supply chain and thus trade to new markets, new digital work opportunities, education, transparency, langauges, applications, software, democracy and freedom of speech on the internet and much more.
This means that we have created new borders, new gaps and new divide. We need to realize that this is the case and learn from our past to overbridge this new gap. Sweden has suported a number of developing countries with aid for digital infrastructure. More countries need to do the same.
UNCTAD has acknowledged and started to address the issue of digital divide and the new digital infrastructure gap.
This is a great initiative by UNCTAD and we need to ensure that other international institutions do the same.
We should instead build bridges of inclusiveness. This is a benefit for all of us.
We need a world that is fully connected to free the creativity of people to contribute to the greater good of our global village.
The future is digital. Let’s make it a better and more inclusive future than the old world was.