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Global Information Technology Report 2013

In sub-Saharan Africa, costly access to technology, a low skills base and unfavourable business conditions are among the chief obstacles.

Can Digitization Kick-Start Growth?
For those who lag behind, the incentives for digitization remain strong. An analysis by Booz & Company has found that ICT could help lift millions out of poverty.

Digitization has boosted world economic output by US$ 193 billion over the past two years and created 6 million jobs during that period, according to the study. Using a Digitization Index that ranks countries on a scale from zero to 100, Booz & Company found that an increase of 10% in a country’s digitization score fuels a 0.75% growth in its GDP per capita. That same 10% boost in digitization leads to a 1.02% drop in a state’s unemployment rate.
If emerging markets could double the Digitization Index score for their poorest citizens over the next 10 years, the result would be a global US$ 4.4 trillion gain in nominal GDP, according to the study. It would generate an extra US$ 930 billion in the cumulative household income for the poorest, and 64 million new jobs for today’s socially and economically most marginal groups. This would enable 580 million people to climb above the poverty line.

Connected to Growth
Broadband, 3G and the intelligent use of big data could also revitalize economic growth. Governments play a crucial role in supporting this digital development, from funding broadband networks to addressing complex issues such as privacy and security. The economy as a whole will eventually reap the benefits as remote rural areas are tied into the national network, resulting in new jobs and broader educational opportunities.
For example, a study by Deloitte based on data from Cisco Systems finds that countries with a proportionately higher share of 3G connections enjoy greater economic growth than countries with comparable total mobile penetration but lower 3G penetration. For a given level of mobile penetration, countries that had a 10% higher 3G penetration between 2008 and 2011 experienced an increase in their average annual GDP per capita growth rate of 0.15 percentage points.
Intelligent interpretation of big data could energize the economy and improve the performance of businesses by allowing them to accurately predict different outcomes rather than relying on a "fail and fix" approach. In 2011 alone, 1.8 zettabytes of data were created – the equivalent of every person on the planet writing three tweets per minute for 1,210 years. This massive resource could be tapped in numerous ways. For example, using big data and analytics to match people to jobs could help governments tackle unemployment more efficiently.


Global Information Technology Report 2013- Read the full report

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