Daily Trust (Abuja)

Africa: IT - Nigeria Ranks 113th Globally, 13th in Africa

Nigeria ranked 133 out of 148 countries on the 2014 Networked Readiness Index (NRI), according to the Global Information Technology Report (GITR) released yesterday.

Published under the theme: "Rewards and Risks of Big Data," the report's Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measured the capacity of 148 economies to leverage ICT for growth and well-being.

In the index, which started more than 13 years, Nigeria ranked 13th in Africa, where Mauritius topped the list followed by South Africa and Tunisia which were placed as number 48, 70 and 87 globally, respectively.

Other countries ahead of Nigeria in Africa are Cape Verde (89TH), Egypt (91st), Kenya (92nd), Ghana (96th), Morroco (99th), Botswana (103rd) Gambia (107th) Zambia (110th).

The report found consistency at the top end of the rankings this year, with Finland (1st), Singapore (2nd), Sweden (3rd), the Netherlands (4th), Norway (5th) and Switzerland (6th) all retaining their positions from last year.

The United States (7th) continued its upward trajectory, while Hong Kong SAR (8th) and the Republic of Korea (10th) both climbed. The United Kingdom (9th) is the only nation in the top 10 that declined.

Lower down the Index, many large emerging economies continued to struggle to realise their full digital potential.

China (62nd), Brazil (69th), Mexico (79th) and India (83rd) all dropped in the rankings.

However, countries that have developed a strong vision to develop their ICT capacity did well, such as the United Arab Emirates (24th), Kazakhstan (38th) or Panama (43rd), which all improved.

The report said at present, the world is slowly emerging from one of the worst financial and economic crises in decades, and policymakers, business leaders, and civil society are looking into new opportunities that can consolidate growth, generate new employment, and create business opportunities.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) continue to rank high on the list as one of the key sources of new opportunities.

The report said little progress was made in bridging the digital divide between technology savvy nations and others.

According to the report, the stalling of progress was worrisome for emerging and developing nations, which are at risk of missing out on many positive impacts information and communications technologies (ICT), including increased innovation, economic competitiveness and greater social inclusion.

The report noted that the benefits of ICT can only be fully derived when a country implements a holistic strategy aimed at creating conditions for skills, innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish alongside modern infrastructure.

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