Sunday, November 19, 2006

Confirmed sighting on the global digital divide

--This is a follow up to a previous post, "You're so vain."--
We have two confirmed hits to this blog from the continent of Africa. My cluster map will not update until its mysterious algorithm is triggered in some unspecified time. Nonetheless, I will sleep better at night knowing that there are at least two computers in Africa, one in Cairo and one in South Africa.
In 1999, the BBC reported that less than 1% of South Asians are on-line, while in Africa there were only 1 million internet users. There is also the language divide; most websites are in English which is not widely spoken in Africa. Many Africans are not literate in their native language, much less English.(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1999/10/99/information_rich_information_poor/472621.stm)
The statistics may have improved slightly in the past 7 years, but not enough.

From Wikipedia on the digital divide:
"Another key dimension of the Digital Divide is the global digital divide, reflecting existing economic divisions in the world. This global digital divide widens the gap in economic divisions around the world. Countries with a wide availability of internet access can advance the economics of that country on a local and global scale. . . . The digital divide is a term used to refer to the gap between people who have access to the internet (The information haves) and those that do not (The information have nots). It can also refer to the skills people have – the divide between people who are at ease using technology to access and analyse information and those who are not."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_divide

2 comments:

Jan said...

I came by via Dr. John...glad I did.

Chana said...

dr. John sent me here to enjoy a good read. you can tell alot of thought and work went into your post. thank you. i hope like you that many dividers of all kinds dissapear much more quickly than the advances in equality we have had so far.