Friday, July 19, 2024

Botswana chided for ‘ineffective use of information technology’

Among 144 economies, Botswana has been ranked 89 for its ineffective use of information technology to boost growth and competitiveness.

This is according to the recently released HYPERLINK “” Global Information Technology Report 2013, published jointly by the World Economic Forum and HYPERLINK “” \o “Click to Continue > by Browse to Save” international business school, INSEAD.

At the core of the report is the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), which ranked global economies according to their capacity to maximize the opportunities offered in the age of ICT.

This year, the NRI ranked 144 economies around the world based on their capacity to exploit the opportunities offered by the digital age. The capacity is measured by the quality of the regulatory, business and innovation environments, the degree of preparedness, the actual usage of ICTs and the societal and economic impact of ICTs.

Garnering a total score of 3.58, Botswana was ranked lowly across a broad range of key indicators in 10 major pillars, which are political and regulatory environment, business and innovation environment, infrastructure and digital content, affordability, workforce skills, individual usage, business usage, government usage, economic impacts and social impacts.

Botswana, at 89, is not yet leveraging the potential benefits associated with ICT. According to the report, important shortcomings that have weighed down the country include the low levels of skills that do not allow for an efficient use of the available technology in terms of basic skills availability and the insufficiently developed ICT infrastructure which result in poor rates of ICT usage.

Despite efforts on the part of the business community to use ICT and integrate it in a broader, firm-based innovation system. As a result, the economic impacts accruing from ICT are disappointing, ranking the country at 114th out of 144 and the social impacts are patchy with Botswana sitting at 81st position.

According to the report, upgrading the overall skills at all layers of society and increasing efforts to build affordable infrastructure for all would allow the country to increase its ICT readiness and uptake and, in turn, spread its impacts across society.

“The level of ICT readiness in sub-Saharan Africa is still very low, with most countries evidencing strong lags in connectivity because of an insufficient development of ICT infrastructure, which remains too costly,” stated the report.

The top 10 of the NRI is made up exclusively of advanced economies. That group is dominated by the Nordics, with Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway featuring in the top 7, and Iceland coming in at a not- so-distant 15th place.


Read this week's paper