The just released (World Economic Forum) Global Information Technology Report for 2010–2011 ranks Zimbabwe 132 out of 138 countries in the Network Readiness Index (NRI). This is Zimbabwe’s third time in a row at this position.
The NRI framework gauges 3 components to come up with a country’s total NRI score: the environment component, which measures the infrastructure, market and ICT regulation in the country; the readiness component, which measures the business, government and individual readiness to use ICTs in their daily activities and the usage component which measure the actual usage of ICTs in a country.
The report covers 138 countries from both the developed and developing world that account for over 98 percent of world GDP.
According to the report, usage of ICTs in Zimbabwe, especially that of government and individuals, has the lowest score of all indicators measured. Other NRI indicators that scored low for Zimbabwe include ‘Venture capital availability’, ‘Software piracy rate’, ‘International Internet Bandwidth’ and ‘Secure Internet Servers per million people’.
Another main contributor to the low score on Zimbabwe’s market environment is the number of days it takes to start a business which is set at 90. In comparison, it takes 33 days to start a business in Kenya, 22 in South Africa and just 11 days in Tunisia.
At the very top of the list is Sweden with a total NRI score of 5.6. This is the second time in a row. Singapore is second, followed by Finland, Switzerland, and the United States in that order.
Kenya, Africa’s de facto ICT hub, is 81 on the list. Zim neighbor, South Africa, is 61. Other African countries in the top 100 include Tunisia at 35, Mauritius 47, Egypt 74, Senegal 80, Namibia 82, Morocco 83, Botswana 91 and Ghana 99.
Zimbabwe is ahead of Angola, Swaziland, Burundi and Chad, which is at the bottom of the list.
Reading the report, you notice it needs to be read in an early 2010 context and not the current environment. Details on Zimbabwe in the report for example show that no data were available for more than half of the indicators determining individual network readiness. Data on Individual usage of ICTs are also not current; Zimbabwe surely has more than the indicated 24 subscriptions per every 100 people; or the 0.0% cellular subscriptions with data.
Still, it’s not clear how much updated the data on other countries are, and how much better off the rating would be with the current information added.
You can download the report here.
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