… Mauritius, Seychelles, S, Africa lead Continent
by ADEDEJI FAKOREDE
NIGERIA has ranked very low in the new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Development Index (IDI), the 2015 edition released on Monday by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Though, Nigeria’s IDI grew from 1.96 per cent in 2010 to 2.61 in 2015, which is still below global standard put at five per cent by the ITU, the country was ranked 134th out of 167 countries examined.
Mauritius was ranked highest among African countries by the United Nations arm in charge of global telecommunications development. ITU ranked Mauritius73rd, which saw a growth from 4.31 per cent in 2010 to 5.41 percent in 2015.
Seychelles is ranked 87th, but grew to 4.96 per cent from 3.98 per cent in 2010. South Africa is third from the continent, ranking 88th, after moving from 3.65 per cent in 2010 to 4.90 percent in 2015. Tunisia ranked 93rd with 3.62 per cent growth in IDI in 2010 to 4.73 percent in 2015.
The Republic of Korea is ranked at the top of ITU’s IDI, a composite measurement that ranks the 167 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills. Republic of Korea is closely followed by Denmark and Iceland, in second and third place.
According to the report, the IDI top 30 ranking includes countries from Europe and high-income nations from other regions including Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Macao (China), New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. Almost all countries surveyed improved their IDI ranking this year.
Furthermore on Africa, the statistics put Morrocco at the 99th position. The country moved from 3.55 per cent to 4.47 per cent within the last five years. Egypt is at the 100th position, growing from 3.48 per cent in 2010 to 4.40 percent. Ghana is next at 109th position. It grew its IDI from 1.98 per cent in 2010 to 3.90 per cent in the last five years.
Other African countries ahead of Nigeria include Algeria at 113th position; Namibia 118th; Kenya 124th; Sudan 126th; Zimbabwe and Lesotho 127th and 128th respectively.
The ITU report, released revealed that 3.2 billion people are now online, representing 43.4 per cent of the global population, while mobile-cellular subscriptions have reached almost 7.1 billion worldwide, with over 95 per cent of the global population now covered by a mobile-cellular signal.
The report also noted that all 167 economies included in the ITU’s IDI improved their IDI values between 2010 and 2015 meaning that levels of ICT access, use and skills continue to improve all around the world.
The Measuring the Information Society Report is widely recognized as the repository of the world’s most reliable and impartial global data and analysis on the state of global ICT development, and is extensively relied upon by governments, international organizations, development banks and private sector analysts worldwide.
ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, said ICTs will be essential in meeting each and every one of the 17 newly-agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “and this report plays an important role in the SDG process. Without measurement and reporting, we cannot track the progress being made, and this is why ITU gathers data and publishes this important report each year.”
Commenting also, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, BrahimaSanou, said:
“ITU’s work in gathering and publishing statistics allows us to monitor the real progress being made in ICT development worldwide, which produces the report each year.Progress is encouraging in many areas but more needs to be done especially in the world’s poorest and remotest regions, where ICTs can arguably make the biggest difference, and help bring people everywhere out of extreme poverty.”