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AfricaMoney | July 25, 2017

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Mauritius first in Sub-Saharan Africa on ICT; comes in first 50 globally: WEF

Mauritius first in Sub-Saharan Africa on ICT; comes in first 50 globally: WEF

The island economy has topped the list of countries harnessing information technology in Sub-Saharan Africa and is ranked 45 on a global scale by the World Economic Forum.  (Image: 1Cybercity.mu)

Mauritius tops the list among Sub-Saharan African countries that are harnessing information technology efficiently, followed by Seychelles and South Africa, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2015.

From a global perspective, the performance of Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly poor as 30 of the 31 countries included in the sample appear in the bottom half of the global rankings. The only exception is Mauritius, at 45th place globally, having progressed three places since last year and eight since 2012.

Developing and emerging economies are well poised to exploit the opportunities posed by Information and Communication Technologies to drive social and economic transformation and catch up with more advanced nations, according to the WEF. As many as 143 countries were compared and measured in terms of their performance in leveraging information and ICT for social and economic impact.

Data from the report’s Networked Readiness Index (NRI), which measures 143 economies in terms of their capacity to prepare for, use and leverage ICTs, suggest that the gap between the best and worst performing economies is widening. In addition, although ICTs are becoming increasingly affordable in many developing countries, most sub-Saharan Africa countries lag behind. The difficulty faced by this region in mastering the infrastructure-affordability-usage nexus is particularly worrisome.

Africa is the worst performing region in all pillars except for the Political and regulatory environment, in which Latin America and the Caribbean obtains the lowest average score.

The 2015 edition of the NRI ranks Singapore as the top country in the world when it comes to leveraging ICTs for social and economic impact.

The city state replaces Finland, which had been number one since 2013, and is joined in the top 10 by one other Asian nation, Japan, which climbs an impressive six places year-on-year to 10th position. Occupying the third slot behind Finland is Sweden. The highest-placed G7 economy is the United States (7th), followed by the United Kingdom (8th). Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, ranks 13th, down one place on last year.

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