Annual Report 2019-2020

Key Stats: First results of the new ITU Strategic Plan 2020-23

Summary of progress towards the strategic goals and targets of the ITU

Internet usage keeps growing, but barriers lie ahead: An estimated 4.1 billion people were using the Internet in 2019. The global penetration rate increased from nearly 17 per cent in 2005 to over 53 per cent in 2019. [See more]

Most of the offline population lives in least developed countries (LDCs): In developed countries, most people are online, with close to 87 per cent of individuals using the Internet. In LDCs only 19 per cent of individuals were online in 2019. [See more]

The digital gender gap is growing fast in developing countries: In all regions of the world, more men than women are using the Internet. The gap is small in developed countries and large in developing countries, especially LDCs. [See more]

Mobile-broadband subscriptions continue to grow strongly: The number of active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants continues to grow strongly, with an 18.4 per cent year-on-year growth. The correlation between level of development and uptake of mobile subscriptions is much weaker, reflecting the better affordability and availability of mobile compared with fixed network connections. [See more]

Bandwidth growing fast but with regional differences: International bandwidth usage grew by 33.4 per cent on average annually between 2015 and 2019. In terms of kbit/s per Internet user, Europe has by far the highest bandwidth usage (211 kbit/s), followed by four regions with similar bandwidth usage (between 100 and 130 kbit/s). Africa is lagging behind, with 31 kbit/s per Internet user. [See more]

Broadband still expensive in LDCs: In 2019, in 61 countries, a fixed-broadband subscription including 5 GB of data costs less than 2 per cent of GNI per capita. A mobile-broadband subscription with a 1.5 GB data package costs less than 2 per cent of GNI per capita in 89 countries, including four LDCs. Although considerable progress has been made in recent years, affordability remains a challenge in many countries, especially LDCs.[See more]

Challenges from the ICT sector are increasing: the level of energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are increasing for the growing spread and use of ICT services, networks and devices. The volume of e-waste is on the rise, from 44.7 Megatons generated in 2016 to 53.6 Megatons in 2019, while the percentage of this e-waste which is documented to be collected and properly re-cycled decreased from 20% to 17.4%. More countries are starting to set up policies/strategies fostering telecommunication/ICT-centric innovation: in 2019, 66 countries are documented to have policies/strategies fostering telecommunication/ICT-centric innovation. Partnerships in the telecommunication/ICT sector are perceived as showing a positive trend: Only 4% of ITU members surveyed in 2020 disagree or strongly disagree with the sentence “Your organization is collaborating with other stakeholders more than in previous years”; and only 2% disagree with the sentence “Your organisation is benefiting with increased synergies by working with others”.

Percentage of achievement of the strategic targets of the ITU

50% of the 24 ITU strategic targets are either already achieved (3 or 12.5%) or well on track for achievement by 2023 (9 or 37.5%). 4 targets (16.7%) are off track for achievement by 2023, the 2 targets related to Internet penetration (households and individuals) in LDCs, as well as the target related to Gender equality online and the target related to the volume of re-cycled e-Waste. 8 new targets (33.3%) have been benchmarked and/or a baseline set up.

Contribution to the SDGs

From the ITU Membership survey 2020: only 1% of members disagree and more than 60% agree or strongly agree with the sentence “ICTs/Telecommunications contribute significantly to the achievement of the SDGs”.

Connect 2030 Agenda

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