Digital Divide: How Tech Can Positively Impact Low Income Countries.

The "digital divide" refers to the disparity between people who have access to digital technology, such as computers and the internet, and those who do not. Many variables, such as location, social level, and a lack of infrastructure, can contribute to the split. 

Because individuals without access to digital technology in this digital age miss out on business opportunities, social networking, work, and education that the digital space provides, the digital gap has a big impact.

The biggest effects of the digital divide are frequently felt in low-income nations. By bridging the gap and enhancing access to digital technologies, technology will nonetheless benefit these nations. 

These are a few ways that technology might benefit developing nations.

E-Learning: Digital technologies can provide access to e-learning platforms, which can help students in low-income countries access educational resources that they may not otherwise have. These platforms like Coursera, and Udemy, can help to level the playing field and provide opportunities for students to gain new skills and knowledge.

Telemedicine: Technology can help to bring medical care to remote areas through telemedicine. Such platforms as Sesame care and Plush care harnesses the help of digital technologies and now doctors can remotely diagnose and treat patients, providing care to those who may not have access to traditional medical services.

Mobile Banking: Mobile banking is a form of financial technology that allows people to access financial services using their mobile phones. This technology can help to bring financial services to people in low-income countries who may not have access to traditional banking services.

Some Services of Mobile Banking include Point of Sales (POS), FinTech, and Agency Banking platforms.

Digital Entrepreneurship: Digital technologies can help entrepreneurs in low-income countries start and run their businesses. With access to digital tools, entrepreneurs can reach new customers through digital marketing, access new markets, secure loans, set up bank accounts, and grow their businesses.

The concept of the economy in the Digital Divide

The phrase "economy in the digital divide" refers to the potential effects of internet access and digital technology on a country's ability to expand and flourish economically. 

Those that have access to digital technology gain from having more access to information, markets, and opportunities, which can lead to differences in economic possibilities and results. Furthering economic gaps, individuals without access to digital technology risk being left behind.

The Digital divide's impact is not only visible in a country's economy but can on the gender digital divide.

The gender digital divide, which refers to the difference between men and women in terms of access to and usage of digital technology, is one of the major contributors to the digital divide. 

Less than 30% of women in Africa have access to technological resources for digital works according to United Nations Women

Several reasons can contribute to this gender digital divide, including:

Socioeconomic factors: Women in low-income countries may have limited access to digital technologies due to financial constraints. Women may also face cultural barriers that limit their access to education and employment opportunities, which can limit their ability to access digital technologies.

Infrastructure: In some areas, the infrastructure for digital technologies may be limited or non-existent, making it difficult for both men and women to access digital technologies.

However, women may be particularly affected by infrastructure issues, as they may have fewer opportunities to travel or move to areas with better digital infrastructure.

Gender stereotypes: Gender stereotypes and cultural attitudes may also contribute to the gender digital divide. Women may be discouraged from pursuing careers in technology or may not be encouraged to develop the skills necessary to use digital technologies.

Online harassment and safety concerns: Women may also be less likely to use digital technologies due to safety concerns or online harassment. This can limit their ability to access online resources, connect with others, and participate in online communities.

In the US, the digital divide can be felt in the education sector. This is a result of many contributing factors including:

Unequal Access to Technology and Resources: students from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities sometimes don't have access to digital tools and resources like laptops, tablets, and high-speed internet. 

As a result, individuals are at a disadvantage since they can't use internet resources for learning, doing research, or interacting with classmates and professors.

Reduced Learning Opportunities: Students now have fewer opportunities to learn because of the digital divide. Students are unable to participate in online classes, use educational software, or engage in digital learning activities without access to digital technology.

Limited Teacher Support: Teachers in schools with little access to the internet and digital technology find it difficult to give their students the help they need. This makes it more difficult for them to evaluate students' progress, give comments, and teach successfully.

How to Bridge the Digital Divide

Bridging the digital gap is not an easy feat and it takes huge commitments from all stakeholders. Below are some proven steps on how to bridge the gap:

1. Public-Private Partnership: Particularly in low-income regions, public-private partnerships can assist to expand access to digital technology and resources. Government agencies, for-profit businesses, and non-profit groups may collaborate in these partnerships to offer resources including financing, supplies, and technical assistance.

2. Strategic Infrastructural Investment: The digital gap may be closed by investing in broadband internet and other infrastructure. This may entail support from the government for the development of broadband networks in underserved areas.

3. Digital Literacy Program: Sponsoring skill and knowledge development through digital literacy programs can help people use digital technology successfully. These initiatives might be included in academic courses in schools or made available as extracurricular activities open to everyone in the community.

4. Equity Funding: Finally, bridging the digital gap can be accomplished by ensuring that schools in low-income areas get appropriate financing. To guarantee that schools in these communities have access to digital resources and technology, the government may need to provide additional financing to the institutions.

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