Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who is the co-chair of the World Bank's World Development Report advisory panel, led the discussion in Washington D.C. on the preparation of the World Bank's most influential report next year, “Internet and Development”.
Ilves, who is currently on a working visit to the US, said that the report will be a manual for developing countries on “how to move forward in a contemporary, rapid and successful way."
"A digital gap still exists in the world. Billions of people have no access to the Internet and owning a mobile phone does not ensure that people have a good Internet connection. The purpose of the report is to help make sure that the opportunities of the digital age spread throughout the world as quickly as possible and that inequality is reduced," he said, according to his spokesperson.
The report, encompassing both the private and public sectors, examines how supporting information technology can impact economic growth and the efficiency of the public sector; why it has been successful in some countries and not in others; what changes need to be made in legislation, the education system and institutions; and how to influence society in order for it to be receptive and open to change.
The report is being prepared under the joint leadership of President Ilves and World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu, and it also includes a reference to Estonia's e-services, secure online identity and X-Road.
Ilves also spoke about the country's experiences at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an influential think-tank. The topic there was how a free and secure Internet can have a positive impact on the economic progress of a country.
Editor: S. Tambur