On September 18 at 16:00 Moscow Time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club hosted a discussion dedicated to the technological gap between developed and developing countries, titled “How to Avoid Inequality in Access to the Digital Future.”
The digital divide is a consequence of uneven access to computers, information, the Internet and telecommunications. UN and World Bank experts call access to the Internet an integral aspect of human rights. According to a study by Cisco, by the end of 2023 there will be about 5.3 billion Internet users in the world, which is 66% of the world’s population. In Russia, the level of digitalisation is noticeably higher than average — 78%. Nevertheless, at one of the congresses of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to find ways to eliminate the digital divide: “The sooner we do this, the better.”
How can we overcome the digital divide? Should poor countries expect help from rich countries in achieving digitalisation? Or is it better to think about a coalition of developing countries that would resolve this problem, for example, through BRICS? Participants in the discussion tried to answer these and other questions.