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SA's ICT ranking slips to 88 out of 175

By , IT in government editor
South Africa , 22 Nov 2016

SA's ICT ranking slips to 88 out of 175

SA slipped down two places on the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU's) 2016 ICT development index (IDI) rankings.

The IDI, a feature of the latest Measuring the Information Society (MIS) report, was released in Gaborone, Botswana this morning, showing SA's ICT global ranking moved from 86th to 88th position between 2015 and 2016.

Brahima Sanou, ITU director of the telecommunication development bureau, said the annual MIS report presents a global and regional overview of the latest developments regarding ICT, based on internationally comparable data and agreed methodologies.

Developed by the ITU in 2008, the IDI is a composite index that combines 11 indicators into one benchmark measure which can be used to monitor and compare ICT developments between 175 countries across the world.

This year's results show nearly all of the countries covered by the index improved their IDI values between 2015 and 2016, but great disparities continue to exist between more and less connected countries.

According to the index report, the African region registers by far the lowest regional average IDI performance. Only three countries in the region fall into the two upper quartiles of the IDI distribution.

SA together with Mauritius and Seychelles are among the three relatively high-performing countries on the African continent, according to the report.

Despite this, SA still dropped two places in the ICT development global rankings.

"This is because [SA was] ranked alongside other middle-income developing countries which also achieved a relatively high improvement in their average IDI," stated the report.

"We need to focus on the countries that are among the least connected in the world. Urgent action is required to address this persistent digital divide if we want to achieve the sustainable development goals enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," said Sanou.

The ITU report also noted indicators making up the IDI which showed the greatest improvements were mobile cellular penetration and mobile broadband penetration.

A particularly strong improvement in mobile cellular penetration was recorded in Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, SA and Tanzania, according to the IDI.

The ITU is hosting its 2016 World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium in Botswana until 23 November.

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