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14th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS): "Mapping ICT into Transformation for the Next Information Society", Kyoto, Japan, 24th-27th June, 2017
The digital divide is now a subject of priority and a serious concern to East African Countries. This research has been made to have comprehensive understanding of the level of the digital divide in Ethiopia including the neighbouring countries and identify the lessons of best performing countries’ in the industry to adopt their best practice in bridging of the digital divide for Ethiopia and East African countries . The main objective of the research was finding the relationship between the informatization level and contributors for its successful performance. The study was made based on the secondary data sources having purposive sampling from East African Countries and best performing countries. The Information Communication Technology Development Index (IDI) which measures the digital divide of the economies combines eleven indicators on ICT access, use and skills, capturing key aspects of ICT development in one measure that allows for comparisons across countries and over time. The Indicator weights were chosen based on the principal component analysis (PCA) results as it has been indicated in ITU country report. The access and use sub-indices were given equal weight (40 %) having minor adjustment from ITU analysis, while the skills sub-index was given lesser weight (20 %) as it is using based on proxy indicators. The average ICT Development Index (IDI) value of the UN member countries rose by 0.20 points to 4.94 (out of 10), with smaller increase at the top and at the bottom of the global list of countries before last year (2015). For frog leaping strategy, Ethiopia and the neighbouring countries can learn a lot of lessons from Korea and Denmark that has been ranked on the top of international telecommunication union reports of 2015 & 2016. This reflects the high level of ICT investment and innovation occurring in Korea & Denmark. Korea & Denmark have population with relatively high incomes and the skills needed to make effective use of ICTs. The identified best informatization practices are not only the best practices of ICT tools but also it will include the implementation support such as informatization policies, guide-lines, legal frameworks, institutional arrangements, proven strategic planning and project management experiences. Hence, this will have its own contribution on the socio-economic transformation of the case study countries. . It is believed that Bridging the digital divide and creating opportunity for universal access to ICT would bring about a global community of interaction, commerce, services and learning resulting in higher standards of living and improved social welfare. This study will be resourceful material for East African countries (Ethiopia) on deepening the understanding of the digital divide and can be taken as a background document for project preparation for digital divide bridging for the countries, too.
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