Third world debt Vs Need for Technology

Third world debt Vs Need for Technology

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Third world debt Vs Need for Technology

Background and underlying concepts:

Many developing countries have very large debts accumulated since the
80’s, and the amount of money that they owe is quickly increasing
dramatically. Trying to pay off these debts has become a serious
problem for these countries, as they now owe money to commercial banks
and also to organisations like the World Bank, and the International
Monetary Fund, and to First World governments.

During the last fifteen years around $1.3 trillion was paid by the
third world countries to the developed countries in the form of loan
repayments and interest on the loans. Every month around $12 billion
is passed on from economically poor counties to the developed
countries in debt servicing. In sub-Saharan Africa, some countries
spend almost half their national budget on financing debt owed to the
rich western nations. This is the reason why these counties cannot
invest in technology to develop their own country.

The technology market is vast industry that is always changing with
time. It is estimated that around 5.5 billion people do not have
access to technology such as the Internet, as computer are to
expensive for these people. While over half of the UK households are
online, only 0.1% of homes in Bangladesh and India have access to the
Internet. As this was a huge concern a company based in India produce
a low cost handheld computer named ‘Simputer’. The device would only
cost around $240. The device would enable people or a village to
access the Internet and perform transaction and any other information
that would be accessible via the Internet. Villages tended to by these
as it help educate the kids within these villages.

Current Situation:

Figures published by the World Bank shows that the total external debt
per country is as follows.

* Indonesia $132.2bn
* India $104.4bn
* Thailand $59.2bn
* Malaysia $48.6bn
* Sri Lanka $9.6bn
* Somalia $2.7bn
* Seychelles $560m
* Maldives $270m

The annual repayment cost for theses countries are as follows:

* Indonesia $13.7bn
* India $13bn
* Thailand $17.9bn
* Sri Lanka $653m
* Maldives $20.8m

In Africa the debt crises is so bad that around 315 million Africans
live on less than $1 a day.

The G7 minister are planning to cancel up to 100% of the debt owed,
this would mean that around 37 developing counties would benefit from
this proposed scheme. According to the JDC (Jubilee Debt Campaign),
only $36.3bn, or less than 10%, of debt has been cancelled to date.

Pakistan has paid off most of its debt that was owed to US. This was
done the incentives given by the American government and its allies in

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helping them in the US-led war on terrorism. This means that Pakistan
can now start developing their country in line with developed
countries, this can achieved by investing in health, education and
technology.

Technology companies like Microsoft are also doing their part I
helping build developing counties. Microsoft has announced to bring
out a new operating system aimed at the developing counties. The new
operating system will be a low-cost version of the original Window XP
and will be called ‘Windows XP Starter’ and is to be piloted in 5
counties. This will help in educating and training people in
developing counties for work and School.

IT as an Enabler:

Information technology is made up of two main factors, hardware and
software that carry complex tasks such as capturing, storing and
manipulating data. Information technology is widely use around the
world in developed countries. IT has also help in producing a strong
economical foundation within these counties, as it enables companies
to produce their products more effectively and efficiently. As the
technology sector is an ever growing market it is always creating new
opportunities for business as well as to the general member of the
public.

Unfortunately developing counties cannot take full advantage of
information technology as they do not the funds to expand their
technology as it is always changing with time. Without investment in
technology Third World counties cannot create a stable economy within
their country.

Legal and Ethical Issues:

There are numerous legal acts that cover the use technology, such as
the Data Projection Act 1998 and Computer Misuse Act 1990. These acts
can take-up an enormous role when developing a country using
technology. These legislation cover business and individuals from the
following scenario

· Altering, copying, moving or deleting programmes or files

· Using or trying to obtain someone else's password or personal
information

· Spreading a computer virus (worms, trojans etc)

· Attempting to damage or crash a computer

Intellectual property (trade marks, patents, designs, and copyright)
gives an individual or a business the opportunity to protect their
work from other people getting their hands on it and mass producing
their work without their permission. However this process may cause
implication when developing a Third World country as business will
want to use any means of technology on the market that would benefit
their company.

Legislations such as the Human Right Act cover the ethical interest of
the members of the public in any countries around the world. This act
covers the rights individuals so that they have the right to a fair
trail, freedom of expression, freedom of speech etc. When developing a
Third World Country it is important that the country follow
legislations like these as it helps keep an order within the country.

Ethics is related to how we as individuals should act when interacting
with business and other individuals. There are two main ethical views,
Deontological and Consequential. Deontological view is when an
individual behaves in a way because it is the right thing to do.
Consequential view is when an individual action is influenced by event
taken place.

It is important to have good ethical issues in the Third World
Countries. As they need to increase their economic growth it is
important that when doing business that both parties have a goon
understanding of each other, as they will intend to do business on a
long-term basis. To do this individuals and business will have to have
an open-mind, good approach

When using technology within a country is important that people have
an open-mind on technology, as it is a vital factor in shaping the
future economic growth of the country. As technology is an ever
changing market many people many find it hard in keeping up with the
changes within the market and so may start to give up and develop a
dislike in the change in technology. This will then slow down the
development of the country.

Recommendations:

To enable Third World countries to develop many actions have to be
taken both by the Third World countries and developed countries.

Steps have already been taken in assisting Third World countries by
the UK and other leading European countries by trying to cancel all
debt owed to these countries. If this is carried out successfully then
it will enable the countries to expand their economy as the money they
used to pay towards paying of the debts can now invest that money in
technology.

An excellent approach in developing countries was the simputer, if
this technology could be produced in all developing countries, it
would allow more users to explore the technology and the Internet. It
would also allow people to trade over internet, which would generate
money for the economy in their country.

However the Third World countries have to take advantage of the help
they are receiving then they will not develop and their economy will
remain in the same situation.

Sources:

BBC News:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3578309.stm
Accessed on 08/Feb/05

BBC News:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4145007.stm
Accessed on 08/Feb/05

BBC News:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1560771.stm
Accessed on 08/Feb/05

BBC News:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3437493.stm
Accessed on 10/Feb/05

Her Majesty’s Stationery Office:
- http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1990/Ukpg 19900018 en1.htm
Accessed on 15/Feb/05

Her Majesty’s Stationery Office:
- http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980029.htm
Accessed on 16/Feb/05

Microsoft.com:
- http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2004/aug04/0
811WinXPStarterPilotPR.asp
Accessed on 10/Feb/05
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