World Bank Tokyo Online Morning Seminar “Digital Progress and Trends Report 2023”

May 7
8:00 am
 – 9:00 am
 YouTube Live 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about unprecedented acceleration of digital transformation across the globe – with spikes in data traffic, app usage, IT sector growth, digital business resilience, and much more. All countries saw a significant uptick in digital adoption, though the gains in low-income countries were not enough to keep the gap with high income countries from growing or to close the digital divide within their borders. In low-income countries, only one in four people are able to access the internet.

The World Bank Group’s new “Digital Progress and Trends Report 2023” provides a sweeping analysis of countries’ production and use of digital technologies—from digital jobs, digital services exports, and app development, to internet use, affordability, quality, and more.

Gaps in internet speed, data traffic, and digital use are hampering digital gains for individuals and firms in low- and middle-income countries. The use of digital technologies during the pandemic led to a surge in data traffic, driven by video streaming. Average mobile broadband traffic per capita in richer countries surpassed that in low-income countries by over 20 times, and fixed broadband traffic by more than 1700 times. In 2023, median fixed and mobile broadband speeds were five to ten times faster in high-income countries than in low-income countries.

Still, prices remained much higher for the poor, with the median fixed broadband prices in low-income countries accounting for one-third of monthly income in 2022. Even the cheapest smartphone accounts for more than 14 percent of annual income for persons living on less than US$2 a day. Today, connectivity is most expensive in Africa, while uptake of digital financial services is lowest in the Middle East and North Africa region.

At this online seminar, Yan Liu, Senior Economist, Digital Development Global Practice, and the report’s team leader, will introduce the main findings.  This online seminar will be conducted in English, without interpretation into Japanese.


Yan Liu
Senior Economist, Digital Development Global Practice, World Bank

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