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About 90 percent of the world’s population can access mobile networks, with three-quarters of mobile subscribers living in developing economies.Cellular technology has allowed Africa to leapfrog the age of fixed line telephony, bringing affordable access to millions of people.
The investment climate is crucial, as are the right incentive structures, to guide the allocation of resources, and to encourage research and development.
Successful countries have grown their ability to innovate and learn by doing, by investing public funding to help finance research and development in critical areas.
However, the continued and equitable expansion of Information Communication Technology (ICT) depends on electricity.
The real divide over the next 20 years will be between those who have access to reliable electricity to power these devices and those who do not.
Knowledge is the systemically integrated information that allows a citizen, a worker, a manager, or a finance minister to act purposefully and intelligently in a complex and demanding world.
The only form of investment that allows for increasing returns is in building the stocks and flows of knowledge that a country or organization needs, an in encouraging new insights and techniques.Cures for other diseases which are endemic in developing countries are also now possible, allowing people with debilitating conditions to live healthy and productive lives. Service and technology are the differentiators between countries that are able to tackle poverty effectively by growing and developing their economies, and those that are not.The extent to which developing economies emerge as economic powerhouses depends on their ability to grasp and apply insights from science and technology and use them creatively.The combination of computers and the Internet, and mobile devices and the “cloud”, has transformed human experience, empowering individuals through access to knowledge and markets, changing the relationship between citizens and those in authority, as well as allowing new communities to emerge in virtual worlds that span the globe.According to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (UN-ITU), by the end of 2010 there were an estimated 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide, including 940 million subscriptions to 3g services.Science and technology are key drivers to development, because technological and scientific revolutions underpin economic advances, improvements in health systems, education and infrastructure.The technological revolutions of the 21st century are emerging from entirely new sectors, based on micro-processors, tele-communications, bio-technology and nano-technology.In societies with limited stocks of knowledge, bright and creative people feel stifled and emigrate as soon as they can, creating a vicious circle that traps those who remain in a more impoverished space.Such societies stay mired in poverty and dependency.Adopting appropriate technologies leads directly to higher productivity, which is the key to growth.In societies that have large stock and flows of knowledge, virtuous circles that encourage widespread creativity and technological innovation emerge naturally, and allow sustained growth over long periods.