Latin America on its path into the digital age: where are we?

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Latin America on its path into the digital age: where are we?


Abstract This paper is part of an investigation about the impact of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on Latin America. Based on the theoretical groundwork given in the introductory paper (From industrial economics to digital economics: an introduction to the transition ), the present paper gives an inventory of the state of development with regard to the regional transition to the so-called Information Society, in order to untangle and structure present dynamics. As knowledge and information are becoming the focus of activity, penetrating and dominating capital, natural resources and the workforce, degrees of development will be determined by the capacity to manage and take advantage of technologies that support the processing of information and the generation of knowledge. Analyzing the special characteristics of Latin America with regard to the integration of Information and Communication Technologies, five fields of focus are identified, for inclusion into development theory: access, regulatory framework, financing, education and the so-called soft factor (eWareness). Latin America is currently given a historic opportunity with regard to improving its relative degree of development, if joint efforts can focus on setting an agenda for guiding the region smoothly and rapidly into the Digital Age.""