Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

G8 Passes International Digital Divide Plan

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

G8 Passes International Digital Divide Plan

Article excerpt

GENOA, ITALY

The world's big eight powers approved action plan to bridge the "digital divide" with the poorest countries. Leaden at the Group of Eight summit held in July endorsed a task force report on how to harness technology in the cause of development. In 2000, the G8 summit established the Digital Opportunity Task Force.

The plan focuses on improving Internet connectivity and lowering information technology costs; helping develop national Internet strategies; deploying information technology in health care, development aid; and facilitating entrepreneurship.

"Even a year ago, demonstrators were burning computers on the streets of Okinawa saying that poor people need water and you can't drink a computer," Vernon Ellis, a business executive who served on the task force, told news reporters at a summit news conference.

"In fact ... there isn't a trade-off between information and communication technologies and other development needs. These technologies can make a real difference to health, to education, to empowerment and to enterprise. …

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