Indonesia urges DEWG to continue discussion on digital connectivity

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The Indonesian government has urged the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) to continue the discussion on digital connectivity.

“I believe we have all witnessed the importance of information and communication technology in helping people cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister of Communication and Informatics, Johnny G. Plate, said at the opening of the second DEWG meeting in Yogyakarta on Tuesday.

The DEWG is part of the Indonesian G20 Sherpa Track. The working group originated with the formation of the G20 Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) in 2017 during the German G20 presidency.

Plate emphasized the importance of overcoming the digital divide by building digital connectivity or telecommunications infrastructure. During the second DEWG meeting, he asked that the discussion focus on inclusiveness, empowerment, and sustainability for strengthening the global position and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The digital divide has remained an issue until now. According to data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in 2021, there were 2.9 billion people across the world who had never used the Internet.

Meanwhile, according to World Bank data for Indonesia, 94 million adults could not access the Internet via mobile devices in 2019.

“The digital divide remains a challenge. Those who have access to fixed broadband Internet are even fewer,” Plate pointed out.

The digital divide has become one of the reasons why the G20 DEWG forum must discuss the issue of digital connectivity. The Ministry of Communication and Informatics, which is in charge of the DEWG, is seeking to address the digital divide by strengthening collaboration so that digital infrastructure is spread between G20 member countries and the world.

The discussion on connectivity has become more relevant due to the presence of a global economic turmoil that has affected food, commodities, and energy availability, and caused the inflation rate to soar.

Source: Antara News