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Notes from the 2011-2012 Global Information Technology Report

April 9, 2012  »  StatisticsNo Comment

It’s April, and that can only mean one thing: another edition of the massive (400+ pages) Global Information Technology Report. The Global Information Technology Report presents data by variable for 142 economies (up from 138 last year). Of special interest is the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), which offers an overview of the current state of ICT readiness in the world. Last year, the report found that although African nations lagged the global mean of networked readiness, many nations showed a glimmer of hope across various sub-categories. The same remains true this year, although most African nations fell in the global rankings. As a region, Sub-Saharan Africa tends to do best in terms of government prioritization of ICT and impact of ICT on new services and products. Still, much of SSA can be found at the bottom of most sub-categories.


An overwhelming amount of data. {WEF}

Africa summary (page 24-26):

The level of ICT readiness in sub-Saharan Africa is still very low, with most countries evidencing strong lags in connectivity because of an insufficient development of ICT infrastructure, which remains too costly. Low levels of skills that do not allow for an efficient use of the available technology add to the challenges these countries face if they are to increase ICT uptake. Moreover, most countries still suffer from poor framework conditions for business activity that, coupled with the above-explained weaknesses, result in poor economic impacts that hinder the much-needed transformation of the region toward less resource-extraction-oriented activities and higher-value-added production. Nine out of the last 10 countries in our sample belong to the region and the results evidence the digital divide the region suffers vis-á-vis more developed regions.”

Tunisia (50): Leads North Africa in the rankings. Government commitment to ICT plus good educational system, but worse affordability and infrastructure level.

Mauritius (53): The only SSA economy in the top half of the rankings. Government has prioritized ICT growth – regulatory framework is in good shape. Infrastructure is lacking, but is becoming more affordable. Still, economic and social impacts of ICT access are low.

South Africa (72): Dropped from 61st to 72nd in the rankings due to lack of skills availability and relatively high costs of access. The economic benefits of ICT are decent, but greatly outweigh social impacts.

Egypt (79): ICT is very affordable (12th in world) and offers a range of services. However, the overall ranking is hurt by the lack of ICT uptake.

Rwanda (82): ICT usage remains low due to expensive infrastructure and a lack of ICT skills. Business usage is much more common than individual ICT usage. PPPs are recommended to improve framework conditions.

Morocco (91) and Algeria (118): Lag the rest of North Africa, especially in economic ICT metrics. Algeria has an unfavorable business environment for ICT growth.

Cape Verde (81), Botswana (89), Kenya (93), Ghana (97), Senegal (100), The Gambia (101), Namibia (105), Zambia (109), Uganda (110), Nigeria (112), Malawi (116), Benin (117), Mozambique (120), Cote d’Ivoire (122), Tanzania (123): A similar story to other African nations – a lack of both skills and infrastructure.

Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Swaziland, Burundi, Chad, Mauritania, and Angola: Range from 124th to 141st position and severely lack ICT conditions and ICT impacts.

Year-over-year NRI rank change:

All African nations except Cape Verde have dropped in networked readiness. Largest drops were The Gambia (25 places), Namibia (23 places), and Senegal (20 places). Other African nations only dropped slightly, but the indication is that ICT readiness in other global regions outpaced that in Africa.

  • Tunisia  (down from 35 to 50)
  • Mauritius (down from 47 to 53)
  • South Africa (down from 61 to 72)
  • Egypt (down from 74 to 79)
  • The Gambia (down from 76 to 101)
  • Senegal (down from 80 to 100)
  • Kenya (down from 81 to 93 after improving 9 places the year before)
  • Namibia (down from 82 to 105 after improving 7 places the year before)
  • Malawi (down from 105 to 116)
  • Mozambique (down from 106 to 120)
  • Uganda (down from 107 to 110)
  • Mali (down from 120 to 126 after dropping 24 places the year before)
  • Lesotho (down from 121 to 133 after falling 14 places the year before)
  • Burkina Faso (down from 122 to 135 after losing 14 places in 2011)
  • Mauritania (down from 130 to 139 after falling 28 places the previous year)
  • Angola is now the SSA nation with the lowest networked readiness (down from 133 to 140).
  • Swaziland (down from 134 to 136)
  • Burundi and Chad held the final two spots of the 2011 report, but are now in 137th and 138th places, respectively. Of all 142 nations included in the report, only Yemen and Haiti rank lower in terms of overall ICT readiness.

Sub-Pillars (pages 324-381):

ICT adoption in North Africa and South Africa tends to match global norms in many areas. Rwanda and Senegal have governments that prioritize ICT and economies that respond to ICT. However, most SSA nations are lacking in all areas of ICT.

  • 1.02. Laws relating to ICT – South Africa, Rwanda, Tunisia, Mauritius, Kenya are ahead of the global mean
  • 1.06. Intellectual property protection – South Africa, The Gambia, Rwanda, Namibia, Botswana are above global mean
  • 1.07. Software piracy rate – Of 107 nations with data, Zimbabwe is the second-highest (93% of installed software is unlicensed)
  • 2.02. Venture capital availability – Above average in Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius
  • 3.03. International Internet bandwidth per user – very low in SSA, non-existent in Chad, Burundi
  • 3.05. Accessibility of digital content – Senegal is highest in Africa (and only African country above global mean) at 64th. Burundi and Chad lag other nations by a large amount.
  • 4.02. Fixed broadband Internet tariffs (monthly sub. charge (PPP $) – Malawi, Ethiopia, Swaziland are again bottom three: $1,248-1,420 (actually cheaper than last year)
  • 4.03. Internet and telephony sectors competition index – Ethiopia is tied for least competition in the world
  • 6.02. Internet users – Morocco leads Africa with 49% (49th place), then Tunisia 37% (71st place). All of SSA is in the bottom half globally, led by Nigeria at 28% (85th place).
  • 6.03. Households with a personal computer – last place Rwanda at 0.5%. Ethiopia (last place a year ago) is now at 1.4%.
  • 6.04. Households with Internet access – Benin is in last place, just behind Rwanda at 0.1%. No SSA nation is above 10%.
  • 6.05. Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions – 14 African nations have below 0.1 subscription per 100 population. Only Mauritius is above 5%.
  • 6.06. Mobile broadband Internet subscriptions – General lack of data for African nations
  • 6.07. Use of virtual social networks – Tunisia (19th), Morocco (44th), Egypt (56th), Nigeria (66th), Mauritius (74th) are above the global mean. Burundi, Chad, and Ethiopia especially lag other nations.
  • 7.02. Capacity for innovation – Tunisia (44th), South Africa (46th), Nigeria (54th), Tanzania (55th) all are ahead of the global mean. Angola has the lowest mark of any African nation.
  • 7.04. Extent of business Internet use – highest in South Africa (46th), Senegal (50th), Kenya (70th).
  • 8.01. Government prioritization of ICT – Rwanda ranks #3 in the world (only behind Singapore and Sweden). Tunisia (21st), Senegal (23rd), The Gambia (25th), and Cape Verde (26th) also lead on a global level. Interestingly, Mali is ahead of the global mean (54th place).
  • 8.03. Government Online Service Index – Egypt (23rd), Tunisia (29th), Angola (63rd), Cote d’Ivoire (67th) round-out the upper half. Swaziland is in last place with an index of 0.00.
  • 9.01. Impact of ICT on new services and products – Rwanda (39th), Senegal (43rd), Tunisia (50th), Nigeria (53rd), Kenya (56th), South Africa (57th), Mauritius (62nd), Cape Verde (65th) all are above the global mean.
  • 9.04 Employment in knowledge-intensive activities – Still no data for most of Africa.

Source: The Global Information Technology Report 2011–2012. © 2012 World Economic Forum {}

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