Friday, February 21, 2014

Almost No "Poor" Countries Left by 2035: Positive for Internet Apps, Access

“By 2035 no nation will be as poor as any of the 35 that the World Bank now classifies as low-income, even adjusting for inflation,” predicts Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation chairman. “Most countries will have higher per-person income by 2035 than China does now.”

That has strategic implications for providers of Internet access and providers of Internet applications, as it suggests there is no fundamental barrier to connecting virtually everyone on the planet, based on sustainable revenue models.

Nor is there any serious reason to doubt that access speed and user experience will remain as limited as often is the case at present.

Almost all countries will be what are now called lower-middle income or richer by 2035, Gates said.

Gates also argued against “three myths” that block progress for the poor: poor countries are doomed to stay poor; foreign aid is a big waste; and saving lives leads to overpopulation.

“The belief that the world is getting worse, that we can’t solve extreme poverty and disease, isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful,” Gates said. “By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. In two decades it will be better still.”

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