Forthcoming October 2017
||The ITU special report on
ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs - Achieving universal and affordable Internet in the Least Developed Countries highlights the social and economic benefits of ICTs for the least developing countries (LDCs) and the potential of ICTs to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report addresses specific economic, demographic and social characteristics and development challenges that the LDCs, including those that are also landlocked (LLDCs) or small island developing states (SIDS), face, including in the area of ICT connectivity and access.
SDG 9, on industry, innovation and infrastructure, issues a call to "significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020" (SDG Target 9C).
Broadband Internet can help countries leapfrog in various areas, including education, health, government services, and trade. ICTs deliver innovative services and applications and trigger new business opportunities. This report highlights ICT developments in the LDCs and proposes a three-dimensional framework around the concepts of access, affordability and skills to track progress towards achievement of Target 9C.
The report highlights that:
- By 2016, all LDCs had launched 3G services and 61% of the LDC population were covered by a 3G network.
- LDCs are on track to reach over 90% mobile broadband coverage and making Internet prices relatively affordable by 2020.
- 800 million people in the LDCs remain offline and in 2020, less than 1 out of 4 people in the LDCs will be using the Internet. Many people lack the necessary skills.
The report is being prepared in cooperation with the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and a draft was presented during a
pre-event of the World Telecommunication/ICT Development Conference (WTDC), on October 8, 2017, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Download the Executive Summary (pfd).