Article

Information Economy Report 2012: The Software Industry and Developing Countries

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  • United Nations Publication: UNCTAD/IER/2012
  • January 21, 2013
Information Economy Report 2012

Preface

Information and communications technologies continue to transform our society. In recent years we have seen dramatically improved access to mobile telephones, the Internet and broadband connectivity throughout the developing world. These trends are gradually helping to dismantle barriers towards the goal of an “information society for all” agreed by world leaders at the World Summit on the Information Society.

Such a society depends on software. The growing emphasis on ICTs in the delivery of government, healthcare, education and other goods and services demands customized applications. Countries therefore need the capacity to adopt, adapt and develop relevant software. Such capacity is also important to facilitate successful technology transfer.

The Information Economy Report 2012 provides an in-depth analysis of software industry developments in developing countries. It underlines the importance of focusing not only on the export opportunities offered by the sector, but also on domestic needs. Using new data, it makes a fresh assessment of the software performance of different countries, highlights key drivers in the evolving software landscape, reviews selected country cases and proposes concrete recommendations to policy makers in developing countries. I commend the report to Governments and development partners working to create an information society for all.

- BAN Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations

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Acknowledgements

The Information Economy Report 2012 was prepared by a team comprising Torbjörn Fredriksson (team leader), Cécile Barayre, Scarlett Fondeur Gil, Suwan Jang, Diana Korka, Rémi Lang and Smita Lakhe under the overall guidance of Anne Miroux, Director of the Division on Technology and Logistics, and the supervision of Mongi Hamdi, Head of the Science, Technology and ICT Branch.

The Information Economy Report 2012 benefited from major substantive inputs provided by Fouad Bajwa, KJ Joseph, Harsha Liyanage, Michael Minges, Lucas von Zallinger (Capgemini) and a joint survey with the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) of national IT/software associations.
Additional inputs were contributed by Anna Abramova, Kwame Andah, Nathan Bartel, Olga Cavalli, Juliana Dib, Dirk Elias, Peter Haddawy, Arafat Hossein, Nnenna Nwakanma, Astrit Sulstarova and Chris Uwaje.

Useful comments on various parts of the text were made by experts attending a global seminar organized at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Bonn, Germany, in May 2012, including Susanne Dorasil, Bernd Friedrich, Helani Galpaya, Petra Hagemann, Anja Kiefer, Martin Labbe, Nicole Maldonado, Andreas Meiszner, Ola Pettersson, Thorsten Scherf, Balthas Seibold and David Souter. Valuable comments were also received at various stages of the production of the report from Dimo Calovski, Angel Gonzalez-Sanz, Yumiko Mochizuki, Thao Nguyen, Marta Perez Cusó, Christoph Spenneman, Susan Teltscher, Ian Walden and Dong Wu.

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