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Africa’s Ten Most IT Friendly Countries in 2007

Last Updated: 6/13/2008 6:59:23 PM

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A look at the African countries that have made the most strides in the implementation of information technology policies to make their economies more competitive in the year 2007.....

Most analysts agree that there is a string link between a country’s ICT infrastructure and its economic development.
Most analysts agree that there is a string link between a country’s ICT infrastructure and its economic development.

The annual Global Information Technology Report released by World Economic Forum, ranks over a 127 countries in the world in its Networked Readiness Index, based on the relative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development in the individual countries.

The link between development in a nation’s ICT infrastructure and economic prosperity has long been examined by economists and policy makers, with most agreeing that there is a strong link between the two.

It is can argued that technological advances in information and communication technology over recent decades have transformed the way businesses are operating, and have resulted in changes in the patterns of global trade in goods and services.

In today’s modern world, a lack in investments in a nation’s ICT infrastructure could see it being left behind in the continent’s development race. The Global Information Technology Report has ranked countries according to the efforts made to improve their already existing ICT facilities and ClickAfrique takes a look at the top ten performers in 2007.

1. Tunisia

Global Rank: 35
Tunisia’s strength lies in the government’s success in ICT promotion, procurement of advanced technology products, providing quality math and science education and prioritization of ICT. However some of its main weaknesses have been identified as having an adequate e-participation and e-government policy, and a high tax rate on ICT products and services.

2. South Africa

Global Rank: 51
South Africa’s strength lies mainly in the prevalence of foreign technology licensing, the efficiency of country’s legal framework and intellectual property protection. However it would need to work on the improving the quality of math and science education, the quality of competition in the ISP sector and increasing the availability of scientists and engineers in the workforce.

3. Mauritius

Global Rank: 54
Mauritius has made significant progress in government prioritization of ICT and the training of its staff; however it does have weakness when it comes to the availability of scientists and engineers and the use of internet by local businesses.

4. Egypt

Global Rank: 63
Egypt is one of the cheapest places in the world to make a mobile phone call and the government has made strides in improving the quality of competition in the ISP sector and increasing the number of new telephone lines. However, it still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to buyer sophistication in buying new technologies and the quality of the country’s math and science education program.

5. Morocco

Global Rank: 74
The development of ICT solutions has achieved great significance in Morocco as the government has understood its importance in building a strong economic infrastructure. However the cost of telephone and mobile phones lines, along with poor penetration of the Internet amongst businesses remains an impediment.

6. Botswana

Global Rank: 78
Botswana has introduced an ambitious and widely supported policy, the National ICT Policy - Vision 2016, which aims to provide its all citizens access to telephones and have the latest ICT technologies readily available by the year 2016. While uptake by the public still remains low and most businesses provide their staff with Internet and email access at their desks.

7. Senegal

Global Rank: 85
The Senegalese government has demonstrated success in ICT promotion, increasing the availability of latest technologies, in the procurement of advanced tech products and the prioritization of ICT, it still lags behinds many on the continent when it comes to ensuring venture capital availability, improving buyer sophistication when it comes to purchasing new technologies and demonstrating e-government readiness.

8. Algeria

Global Rank: 88
Algeria’s strength lies in its availability of scientists and engineers and the provision of business and residential monthly telephone subscription. However the extent of business Internet use, financial market sophistication and use of personal computers remains low.

9. Kenya

Global Rank: 92
Low numbers in broadband Internet subscribers, residential monthly telephone subscribers and telephone lines hinder the progress Kenya has made in improving the quality of its scientific research institutions and educational system, and increasing company spending on R&D.

10. Namibia

Global Rank: 93
Namibia has good ICT facilities and good telephone penetration, with 6 fixed line telephones for every 100 persons in the country, and twice that number for mobile phones. Significant ICT investments in recent years could however be hampered by a lack of proper research and training services, poor quality of country’s math and science education and a low capacity for innovation.


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