Report: Measuring Digital Development (ITU 2023)

Source: ITU


“Facts and Figures: Focus on Least Developed Countries” is a publication providing insight into the state of digital connectivity in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), using data from ITU’s 2022 report. Since the Fourth United Nations Conference on LDCs in 2011, the LDCs have seen ten-fold growth in internet usage, reaching 36% of the population. This is due to cheaper, easier internet access and the widespread availability of mobile broadband. However, there’s still significant progress to be made as 20% of the population still lacks internet access.

The publication highlights the growing complexity of the connectivity challenge and asserts the need for meaningful connectivity that ensures safe, satisfying, productive, and affordable online experiences. The digital divide between LDCs and the rest of the world is significant and without intervention, LDCs risk falling further behind as the world becomes more internet-centric.

The report serves as an advocacy tool, providing necessary data for policymakers to design targeted policies and investments. The digital diversity within LDCs demands varied solutions, with internet usage ranging from 6 to 86% and vast disparities in mobile broadband prices.

The publication underscores the need for more reliable and timely statistics from LDCs to guide global development efforts. It argues that universal and meaningful digital connectivity can help LDCs address their challenges and achieve sustainable digital transformation.

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