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Estonian ICT Creating Digital Dividends

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Recently the World Bank released the 2016 World Development Report on Digital Dividends. “Among high income countries, Estonia stands out as the most advanced nation in terms of digital technology and the Internet,” stated Kaushik Basu, senior Vice President and economist for the World Bank, during a recent conference.

The report details the importance of technology and its ability to connect people globally and create value for citizens, governments, and business. More than 3.2 billion people currently have access to the Internet, and this has created many benefits for users across the globe. The three main areas of dividends highlighted in the report are Growth, Jobs, and Services.

“The Internet is not a shortcut to development, but it can surely be an accelerator,” Uwe Deichmann co-author of the Digital Dividends report. Estonia’s x-Road technology is featured within the report, as well as a number of services available to public and private companies and citizens.

There are still lingering problems with access to the Internet, including a divide within developed nations such as the U.S. where access in rural areas is problematic. However, there
are success stories, such as Estonia, which is highly developed in providing services via the Internet.

“Today, Estonia is regarded as one of the most advanced e-governments in the world. The use of technology and digital services is widespread in both the public and private sector. We can set up a new company and have it legally up and running within 20 minutes. Nearly 95 percent of Estonians declare their income online, because it takes less than five minutes and no accountants,” writes Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in his post here.

 

The report also features the policy priorities for emerging, transitioning, and transforming countries. These priorities include what analog change is needed within regulations, skills, and institutions to compliment the digital change.

*To read more the full report is available here.

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