Closing The Gap Between Technology and Poverty in Multi-culture Third-World Nations

by

Eugene C. Kortee
Information Technology for All (ITA)
P.O. Box 6774, 1 Royal Drive, Sophie-Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia, Africa
ekortee@ita.liberia.itgo.com
http://www.ita.liberia.itgo.com

Keywords

Human resources development, Multi-cultural third-world nations, Poverty and information technology in Africa

Abstract

In this twenty-first century when computers are fast dominating almost every sector of life in developed nations, developing nations are behind in technology. With the gap between technology and poverty in multi-cultural developing nations, technological advancement isn’t having a global impact.  There’s a need for sharing solutions for technology literacy.

Presentation

In the world today, there is a speedy advancement in Information Technology.  It is worth noting that technological advancement is meant to enhance human resources development. Let’s take the case of technology in underdeveloped and developed countries, where the technological gap widens because of poverty. There are a lot of international organizations, like the UN, engaging in bridging this gap already. For example, Kofi Annan, in his World Telecommunications Day speech, commenting on the disparities in Internet access in the world, said “there are more hosts in New York than in all of Africa” (http://digitaldividenetwork.org/content/sections/index.cfm)

Many in developing nations, precisely Liberia, hear about computer, but without practical usage. Imagine an electrical engineering graduate, having no computer knowledge, least to mention high school students and the kids. About 15% of the literate population in Liberia has access to computer, 5% of which own computers.

It is mostly non-profit organizations, institutions, and individuals that are interested in sharing solutions to technology literacy in developing countries and knowing the plight of human services regarding technology in a poor African country can help. It can be asked, “How can one without money get to be trained?”

By training people freely, or at a minimum cost, which can only be done by non-profit organizations (like ours), or those fortunate with money, knowledge, technology, or equipment provide freely, if possible. Governments, organizations, institutions, and individuals must work in providing those in the sharing of technology with computers, loans, training, etc. Used training equipment (computers, training videos/software, etc.) can be donated to these organizations in the underdeveloped nations. Teachers and students exchange between these institutions would be encouraged in order to create a multi-cultural learning atmosphere. 

For the institutions (universities, colleges, etc.) and organizations, it is time to meet people who are carrying the same vision in bridging this IT gap, like you. Businesses will have a chance to train stable workers directly or indirectly.

“Certainly when we hear about the divide in the popular press it’s always about the “haves” versus the “have-nots,” the technology gap, the computer gap -- I’ve got Internet access and you don’t.”(Carvin, A – www.benton.org/Divide/thirdact/speech.html). Developing human resources technologically is the key to the 21st century’s global development.

Those who can help remedy this problem include educational institutions (universities, colleges, etc.), training centers, foundations, charity homes, etc.  The technologies needed in this remedy include computers (desktops and laptops), training videos/software, overhead projectors, etc. (used and/or new ones) and any useful equipment.  The overall goal is to make computer and/or Internet knowledge or skills widely be available to the less fortunate.

Intended audience

Social workers, administrators, entrepreneurs, trainers, students, etc. who want to understand what the digital divide means for people in a country like Liberia and who are interested in discussing how to help developing nations bridge the digital divide.