The Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development published the 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report which underscores that the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) hinges on overhauling the national and international financial systems in line with sustainable development. More than 60 agencies and international institutions contributed to this report alongside the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, and a several UN organisations. ‘The world cannot achieve the SDGs without a fundamental shift in the international financial system to address urgent global threats,’ emphasised U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. The report sheds light on the potential of innovation and new emerging technologies for development finances which also represent different challenges. Thus, regulatory frameworks at the national and international levels should be developed in line with the technological changes which include rapid advances in artificial intelligence, mobile access, cryptography, and distributed computing. Such challenges resulted in new risks, i.e. redundancy of labour in developed and developing countries and ventures to financial markets. The report further reinforces the support developing countries need from the international community to enhance technology capabilities, close the digital divide, catch up with technological innovation, and hence advance the SDGs.
The impact of the Internet on businesses and the global economy has been crucial in shaping new economic models, and at the same time, raising new concerns.
The Internet is one of the primary drivers of economic growth, which is visible in many countries that have placed the development of ICT as one of the primary tools for boosting the economy.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.
The digital divide can be defined as a rift between those who, for technical, political, social, or economic reasons, have access and capabilities to use ICT/Internet, and those who do not. Various views have been put forward about the size and relevance of the digital divide.