FROM DIGITAL DIVIDE TO DIGITAL INEQUALITY: The connectivity paradox

Alison Gillwald (PhD) Executive Director, Research ICT Africa, Adjunct Professor, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice.

Paper Presented at the Law and Development Research Conference: University of Antwerp

20-22 September 2017

In September 2015, UN Member States and the UN General Assembly formally agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and set out a global agenda for development based on “economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability”, known as the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The UN’s Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development since its establishment in 2010 by ITU and UNESCO, has sought “…to promote the adoption of effective and inclusive broadband policies and practices in countries around the world, with a view to promoting development and empowering each and every individual and society through the benefits of broadband” (2016:1).  Since the 2030 Agenda was finalized it has focused its efforts on identifying the ways in which ICTs can be applied to the 17 sustainable development goals and 167 indicators to measure their progress. Despite the references to development there is in fact little engagement with development beyond the rhetoric of its mandate.

Read full paper here