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Calls for more inclusive and fair digital transformation in world’s least developed countries

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

The Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) was held in Doha, Qatar.

It addresses the critical issue of the digital divide between rich and poor nations. It particularly focuses on the least developed countries (LDCs).

A recent UN report reveals that two-thirds of the population in LDCs remains offline.

Discussions at the conference emphasized the challenges of using science, technology, and innovation (STI) to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development in vulnerable countries.

Internet usage has increased in LDCs.

However, barriers such as awareness, skills, and cost hinder digital access for many.

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report indicates a persistently wide digital divide.

In the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), 720 million people still lack internet access. This represents 27% of the global offline population.

The Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) emerges as a blueprint for renewed commitment. It urges support for affordable and reliable broadband and mobile networks in LDCs.

The conference emphasizes the moral imperative of digital development and sustainability.

While broadband prices decreased in 2022, structural constraints persist.

The ITU stresses the complexity of bringing communities online. They also emphasize the need for more inclusive digital access.

The conference highlights the role of public-private partnerships. They accelerate the DPoA and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It includes the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition.

Private sector forums focus on improving digital connectivity. They also aim to foster collaboration. They seek to mobilize resources for long-term sustainability in LDCs.

The three-day Private Sector Forum addresses key areas. These include sustainable energy, agriculture, digital connectivity, climate change, and sustainable tourism.

The conference is themed 'From Potential to Posterity.' It aims to accelerate sustainable development in LDCs and unlock their full potential.

Future sessions will focus on LDC participation in global trade. They will also address youth development and education.

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