Botswana improves in global ICT ranking

An authoritative World Economic Forum report on the global state of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has ranked Botswana sixth in Africa, up from tenth in the 2011 edition of the report. Released last week, the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Information Technology Report (GITR) is among the most respected research periodicals on the level of ICT readiness worldwide. The 2012 edition of the report has grown to 142 countries from 138 last year, which in total accounts for 98 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product.

In this year's GITR, Botswana scored highest for its political and regulatory environment, where it was ranked 40th in the world of the 142 countries assessed.

The country also received top marks for its business and innovation environment, ranking 79th in the world. Botswana is powering ahead with its e-government strategy which will ultimately result in the provision of most government services online, enhancing efficiency, lowering costs and boosting access. Several pieces of legislation ushering in the first online services are due in the July session of Parliament, the trade and industry ministry has said.

According to the report, Botswana outscored regional powerhouse, South Africa in terms of ICT skills, government usage of ICT and the social impact of information technology.  However, South Africa was superior in its political and regulatory environment, usage by business, business and innovation environment as well as individual usage. South Africa also has a higher ranking for its ICT infrastructure and the economic impact of information technology, while also being slightly cheaper than Botswana in its service and product offerings, the report indicates.

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