From issue: Memos to the President Elect (Fall 2008)
Bridge the Digital Divide
In today's technology-driven economy, bridging the digital divide is essential for countries to break out of the periphery."
For some time now, Latin American countries have been working diligently to reduce what has come to be known as the digital divide: the gap between the huge advances in information technology and those who do not have the access or the digital skills to use that technology. In the private sector, collaboration and mentoring have helped bridge the gap, and business continues to have the greatest potential for progress. Reinforcing a combined effort on the part of regional and U.S. companies to address that challenge should be high on the next president’s agenda.
In most cases, state-led efforts combine elements of financial aid in infrastructure, such as the purchase of technological equipment, funding for Internet access in classrooms and public areas and programs that promote computer-literacy training among all segments of society. Though there has been progress on these initiatives, much more needs to be done.
A few basic indicators highlight the dilemma of uneven “digital development” in