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The establishment of the Digital Opportunities Task Force by the G8 within the Okinawa Charter in November 2000 indicates political perception of the importance of access to and availability of ICTs and of participation in the development of the global information society. An analysis and synthesis of a representative range of research documents was undertaken to find out whether this intuitive perception is supported by empirical research evidence. The discussion covers two main areas: the impact of ICTs on developing countries and the problems of ICT take up for developing countries.

The review concludes that the attraction of investors to developing countries can only be achieved by offering direct financial benefits. Multi-level and multi-faceted approaches are needed to address the needs of the individual countries and regions in the developing world. Investment in specific ICT skills training and education generally seems to promise a better return than investment in infrastructures. Research on the Digital Divide and ICTs and development requires the establishment of a permanent observatory in this area. .

Additional information

Authors: GOUROVA E ET AL, JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19913 EN (2001), pp. 32. Euro: Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail:
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