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Digital Connectivity Requires Inclusive, Empowering and Sustainable Principles

The G20 Indonesia presidency pays attention to the issue of digital connectivity and post-Covid-19 recovery, which is one of the priority issues of the Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG). Departing from this issue, DEWG will emphasise the discussion of the principles of inclusiveness, empowerment, and sustainability in the use of digital technology. The discussion of digital connectivity issues and post-covid-19 recovery is based on current conditions, where the presence and use of digital technology have become a necessity.

Not only about development, but more about the social environment and people’s daily activities. Responding to current conditions and in line with the agenda of the Indonesian G20 Presidency, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, which in recent years has implemented a digital transformation agenda, will place an emphasis on infrastructure, human resources and digital ecosystem aspects with the principles of inclusiveness, empowerment and sustainability.

– Mira Tayyiba, Secretary-General, Ministry of Communication and Information

The principles of inclusiveness, empowerment and sustainability will be discussed from two aspects, namely the use of digital technology and its relationship to strategic sectors. This pandemic reaffirms the urgency of the presence and use of digital technology. When mobility and physical activity are restricted, to survive and thrive, we must migrate to the digital space. It turns out that there are adaptive groups who can directly take advantage of digital technology, can access and utilise it. However, some do not have the opportunity or access to digital services.

The access gap is a special concern for Indonesia in raising connectivity and pandemics in the DEWG discussion so that Indonesia and the global community can reduce the gap in access to digital technology. The Ministry wants to see what is called inequality, not only related to the existence of infrastructure, not only spatial problems. There are commercial areas, there are 3T areas (frontier, outermost, underdeveloped) that must be provided with special digital infrastructure.

Currently, with online schools, children are always in contact with digital technology. They also use the internet to find materials for school assignments. However, the content on the internet is not entirely safe for them. Therefore, the principle of inclusivity also includes ensuring the safety of the digital space (online safety) for children in the use of technology.

One aspect of the DEWG discussion related to digital connectivity is to encourage solutions for Indonesia so that mobility and physical interaction of the community are maintained and the economy is running. Therefore, the digital ecosystem must be an important sector that needs to be implemented. Indonesia needs digital transformation because not all people can reach Internet of Things services. This phenomenon does not only occur in Indonesia but also throughout the world. However, people will move towards this phenomenon and create a concept called digital responsibility.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, the utilisation of digital space is one of the alternative answers to the challenges of post-COVID-19 recovery. Therefore, the Government is accelerating the development of digital connectivity in an effort to improve the national economy. Indonesia’s experience in building digital infrastructure as well as using digital space positively and productively has become one of the discussions at DEWG.

During the pandemic, there was positive growth in the information and communication sector. The information and communication sector, which is the backbone of the digital sector, is the only sector that is still growing positively for three consecutive quarters in 2020. The Indonesian government seeks to take advantage of this opportunity by accelerating the development of an inclusive digital infrastructure to address the digital divide in society.

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