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New White House initiatives – International cooperation important

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The White House has announced a number of new initiatives aimed at closing the digital divide.

The Group of Eight will support the creation of a Digital Opportunity Taskforce to mobilize and coordinate the efforts of governments, corporations and foundations to bridge the international digital divide. The task force hopes to offer policy advice, encourage the development of hardware and software, focus on education, and encourage participation in e-commerce.

President Clinton is also issuing a “Global Call to Action” to encourage the private sector in the U.S. to become involved in the taskforce’s initiatives.

The Clinton-Gore administration will also invite seven developing countries to join the Internet for Economic Development Initiative, bringing the total number of countries involved to 20. The initiative has expanded credit for member states so that they can invest in U.S. information technology and services.

The Markle Foundation, World Economic Forum, IBM, Harvard University, United Nations Development Program and the UN Foundation will collaborate to create a network readiness initiative that will be available to all developing nations.

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