Growth and Competitiveness The role of ICT

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					                     Growth and Competitiveness: The role of ICT
                                   June 7, 2006
                                   1:30-3:30 pm

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES

Developing countries need vibrant private sectors with a diversity of firms that are locally,
regionally and globally competitive in order to create and sustain the economic growth
necessary to combat poverty and create opportunities for all. Governments have a crucial
role to play in this, by creating the proper environment, and helping to provide the necessary
infrastructure, for private sector development. Yet ultimately firms compete, not nations,
and policy makers need to be realistic and focused in their understanding of how existing
and new firms in their country can respond to new opportunities to serve domestic and
foreign markets in an increasingly-open global economy.

ICT can help create these new opportunities, by extending the reach of a firm's products and
services, disaggregating value chains so that high-value work can "migrate", and enabling the
creation of new products and services for both domestic and international markets. Yet ICT
by themselves do not provide automatic solutions to a country's growth and competitiveness
challenges. They can also pose risks for developing countries, both by empowering new
competitors to domestic firms and by creating temptations for expensive "white elephant"
projects that result in little or no job growth.

infoDev has done substantial work in the past year to explore these issues in greater depth,
through a series of country studies (the Caribbean, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana) and a
"framework paper" that offers a general way of thinking about these issues and challenges.

This seminar is designed to:
   • present the findings from infoDev's country studies, and receive feedback on the
       analysis and recommendations of these studies;
   • present infoDev's broader framework for analyzing the impact of ICT on growth
       and competitiveness, and sharpen this framework through discussion among the
       panelists and participants;
   • identify priorities for future infoDev research and analysis in this area, and for future
       elaboration and refinement of infoDev's analytical approach to these issues.
                                          AGENDA

Chair: Philippe Dongier, Manager,
       ICT Policy Division, Global ICT Department, World Bank Group

Presentations (15-20 minutes each)

       Diane Coyle, Principal, Enlightenment Economics, London

               Information and Communication Technologies, Poverty and the Global Economy:
               Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Countries:
               A Framework for Analysis

       Rob Henning, Manager, OTF Group, Washington, DC

               Increasing Competitiveness and Accelerating Growth through ICT: Lessons from Three
               Case Studies: Uganda, Tanzania and the Caribbean Region

       Seth Ayers, infoDev

               Improving Competitiveness and Increasing Economic Growth in Ghana: the Role of IT-
               enabled Services

       Discussants (5-7 minutes each)
          • Dino Leonardo Merotto, Senior Economist, Africa Region, World Bank
          • David Woolnough, ICT Advisor, UK Department for International
                       Development (DFID)

       Open Discussion/Debate (40-45 minutes)

       Concluding Remarks by Chair (5 minutes)