Digital Inclusion for LDCs
In preparation for the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC-IV) to be convened in Istanbul, Turkey, from 9 to 13 May 2011, the International Telecommunication Union organized a pre-conference event in Geneva (ITU, Headquarters). The meeting sought to review progress made towards the implementation of the 10-year Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA), and to explore innovative ways of using information and communication technologies as a catalyst in alleviating poverty and stimulating growth in least developed countries under the new Istanbul Programme of Action. The meeting was attended by Senior Government Officials, Ambassadors, Heads of United Nations Organizations, and Civil Society. The participants adopted a final report that is available at:
The meeting noted that, Information and communication technologies facilitate progress in other sectors such as trade, productive capacities, environment, disaster risk reduction, disaster management, education, gender mainstreaming, health, agriculture, and climate change as these technologies permeate every facet of human life. Further, information and communication technologies play a catalytic role in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development). The target for ICTs is the most advanced of all the MDG targets. All the LDCs surpassed the targets set by the Brussels Programme of Action to attain 5 main lines per 100 inhabitants. This was possible due to the rapid growth of mobile communications. However, many of the LDCs failed to attain the targets set for Internet penetration. With the introduction of broadband, rapid growth in Internet connectivity is expected along the lines of mobile communications growth.