Malawi has launched the World Bank’s 2016 World Development Report (WDR), a flagship publication which is produced annually as an invaluable guide to the economic, social and environmental state of the world at present times.
The launch which attracted developers of technology, users, policy makers, regulators, and the academia took place on Thursday at Bingu International Conventional Center in Lilongwe.
Speaking at the event, Malawi’s World Bank Country Manager Laura Kullenberg said over the years the reports have become highly influential publications that are used by many multilateral and bilateral international organisations, national governments, scholars, civil society networks among others to support their decision making processes.
Kullenberg then disclosed that the 2016 report is focusing on Digital Dividends, saying the world is in the middle of the greatest information and communications revolution in human history.
“More than 40 percent of the world’s population now has access to the internet. This rapid technological change has brought many benefits to the poor and disadvantaged,” she noted.
She added that the World Bank’s World Development Report 2016 Digital Dividends documents examples where the internet, mobile phones and related technologies have promoted inclusion, efficiency and innovation.
“In many instances, this has allowed businesses to get more productive, people find new opportunities and government improve their operations. The payoff; faster growth, more jobs and better services, that’s why the report is referred to as Digital Dividends,” Kullenberg explained.
The country Manager further stressed that The World Bank Group has a strong portfolio in supporting the digital development agenda which includes ICT infrastructure investments in fragile or remote countries where the private sector is unable to do the job.
She said: “Here in Malawi, we have been working for a number of years with Government to use digital technologies as a way to raise productivity, to promote competitiveness and diversify the economy. High quality, low cost broadband is a foundation stone for competitiveness in other sectors, especially financial services.”
However, speaking in a separate interview after the WDR launch, Mzimba North MP Hon. Agnes Makonda NyaLonje who is also Deputy Chairperson for Parliament’s Education, Science and Technology Committee said there is a need to address connectivity problems in rural areas if Malawi is to yield maximum benefits from ICT.
“If you look at the Malawian setting, the majority are in rural areas where there is no or slow connectivity. Most young people are also living in rural areas and they can’t operate E-Businesses unless they have connectivity and they have the technical know-how,” she emphasized.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :