Emerging Development Opportunities: The Making of Information Societies and ICT Markets


Much remains to be learned or understood better as the diffusion of ICTs continues to expand, technologies continue to evolve and numerous applications proliferate. Throughout, good research needs solid quantitative evidence, which is by itself part of the sought-after body of knowledge.

The research contained here hopes to contribute to this direction, both through the findings it presents and through the research horizons it seeks to open up. The publication comprises two parts.

The first presents a comparative analysis of the stage of ICT development across a large number of countries, as well as the progress made in recent years. It does so though the conceptual notion of Infostates and relies on the most recent data released earlier this year by the ITU, in the form of the ICT Opportunity Index. It adopts a regional perspective and contains detailed analyses for economies in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.

The second part breaks new ground by targeting the ICT sector and attempting to shed light on its magnitude, composition and evolution across several countries.

While such work has produced valuable insights in developed countries, the systematic quantification of the sector has not been attempted in developing ones. Such work becomes increasingly important as it provides a good framework to examine the much-talked about technological convergence, and offers a platform for a more substantive dialogue across jurisdictions within countries.

Expanding the scope of ICT investigations from the confines of telecommunications to the other manufacturing and computer services industries that comprise the sector, leads to a more comprehensive examination of national strengths and weaknesses. It also affords linkages with issues such as domestic capacity, human resources, trade, and science and technology. The second part of this volume also contains additional demand-side analysis in selected countries.

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