Despite Ghana’s unchanged score of 3.4 points out of ten in terms of global ICT usage, the country moved up to the 97th position out of 147 economies on the latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Network Readiness Index (NRI) as part of the Global Information Technology Report 2012 released April 4, 2012.
The report, titled “Living in a Hyperconnected World” was prepared by the Davos-based Forum in collaboration with the international graduate business school and research institution, Institut européen d’administration des affaires (INSEAD).
The 2011 edition of the report saw Ghana recording the same score of 3.4 out of 10 points but was ranked 99th worldwide. The NRI reflects the achievements of countries in exploiting the opportunities offered by ICT.
The country’s ranking on the Index was based on four sub-indexes namely – Environment, Readiness, Usage and Impact.
On environment, Ghana was ranked 63rd with a score of 3.9. The environmental component includes the political and regulatory environment as well as the Business and innovation environment.
ICT usage in the country improved a little bit but was still below international best practices, especially at the individual level. The sub-index which ranked Ghana 114 with a score of 2.9, also ranked individual usage of ICT in the country at 116th with a score of 2.0 compared to 108th (2.5 score). Business usage ranks Ghana 99 with a score of 3.2 and government usage at 109 with a score of 3.3.
Ghana’s readiness to ICT on subindex basis was ranked 99th with 4.0 score while the Impact subindex saw the country placing 100th with a 3.0 score.
Sweden (1st) and Singapore (2nd) top the overall rankings in leveraging ICT to boost country competitiveness. Switzerland (5th), the Netherlands (6th), the United States (8th), Canada (9th) and the United Kingdom (10th) also show strong performances in the top ten.
However, the WEF said ICT readiness in sub-Saharan Africa is still low, “with most countries showing significant lags in connectivity due to insufficient development of ICT infrastructure, which remains too costly, and displaying poor skill levels that do not allow for an efficient use of the available technology”. The region, despite the challenges, ICT infrastructure has been improved, ICT-driven impacts on competitiveness and well-being trail behind, resulting in a new digital divide, the Forum observed.
“Traditional organizations and industry infrastructures are facing challenges as industries converge. This will inevitably have consequences for policy and regulation as regulators will have to mediate the blurring lines between sectors and industries and will be obligated to oversee more facets in a pervasive way,” said Robert Greenhill, Chief Business Officer at the World Economic Forum.
By Ekow Quandzie