Global Advance of the Knowledge Economy
As has been discussed already, the impact of the knowledge-based era is pervasive. It does not apply only to individual sectors or only developed countries. Although there is a massive difference in the readiness and ability of different actors to take advantage of the new opportunities and counter the difficulties, change has arrived across the board.
Only a few years ago, it was correctly said, “half humanity has still not made a phone call.” That, being true then, is certainly not true anymore. In great parts of the world, there has been a deep concern about the “digital divide,” reflecting the perception among billions of people around the world that technology has not helped them catch up with developed societies and the anticipation that the latest technological (information) revolution would not be different. True, ICT has in some cases been put to use to acquire computers or develop data banks that were not really needed. There have certainly been excessive costs and inappropriate training, which has left a lot of expensive investment idle and doomed to decay. Such problems are far from done and over with. The fact is, however, that the outlook has shifted in decisive fashion.
With the accelerating diffusion of mobile telephony, the information society is in the process of reaching out. Competition has set in; costs of hardware are coming down; services are becoming user-friendly, even for the illiterate, and with consideration to local conditions calling for energy-intensive and environmental-friendly technologies. People anywhere are getting access to information they could not obtain in the past – information that in many cases is of great value to them, although there could without any doubt be a lot more production of such useful information and a lot less of information that is not useful.
In this chapter, we examine the state of readiness for different parts of the world. Special attention is devoted to the degree to which each of the major regions of what is now referred to as the developing world have advanced in important respects.
KeywordsVenture Capital Literacy Rate Enrolment Rate World Economic Forum Trade Regime
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