Digital war on poverty

October 2008

Here’s a link to a short article by Jeffrey Sachs on the digital war on poverty.

Its interesting to see market forces accomplishing a feat NGOs would be unable to (assuming they had wanted to).  As of 2007 over 50% of the world’s population now use mobile phones.  It took 20 years to reach 1 billion, another 3 years to reach 2 billion, and the 3rd billion took just 2 years.   Mobile phones and their future capacity for information distribution are making their way into the hands of the world’s least resourced.  Assuming there is bandwidth left over after everyone’s finished downloading Myley Cyrus ringtones, there will be an opportunity to connect people and distribute something useful.

Mobile phones will initially help enable banking and access to microcredit loans, and as the technology develops, we’ll see a gradual improvement in access to the world’s increasingly organised information.