The World Bank has said that rapid adoption of technology and the increasing use of mobile
phones, which allow people in developing countries to become more connected, is proving to be an enormous opportunity.
According to the Bretton Woods Institution, at the moment, there are more mobile phone
Subscriptions in the world than people, with over 50 percent of the global population having access to broadband internet.
“Additionally, there are now over 1 billion registered mobile money accounts globally, helping increase financial inclusion (GSMA 2019). While such rapid adoption has the potential to bring about positive change, it can also exacerbate existing inequalities and introduce new vulnerabilities,” The State of Economic Inclusion Report 20201, released by the World Bank stated.
It added that “it is important to note that a digital divide persists—half of the world’s population is still offline. Most of these people live in developing countries, and increasingly they are
The report further stated that as recent events have made clear, programming for economic inclusion cannot be divorced from the vagaries of external shocks and vulnerability.
“Beyond the current COVID-19 context, the direction and nature of economic inclusion programs will also be shaped by different types of shocks, including economic shocks as well as underlying fragility due to conflict or climate change.
“In 2015, 54 percent of those living in fragile and conflict affected situations (FCS) were in Sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank 2018). While extreme poverty in FCS economies declined sharply between 2005 and 2011, the poverty rate has since stagnated, and the share of the global poor living in FCS has steadily increased since 2010, amounting to 23.2 percent of the world’s extreme poor.
“The report Financing the End of Extreme Poverty identifies 30 countries that are most at risk of not meeting the 2030 goal of eradicating extreme poverty (Manuel et al. 2018). Of these countries, 23 with economic inclusion interventions are featured in this report. One strong implication is the need not only for program adaptability and flexibility to withstand shocks but to adapt program design in the context of dynamic, short- and medium-term needs.”