The ninth edition of the annual Measuring the Information Society Report (MIS) has been released to show how countries are doing. The report is created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – the United Nations Specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT). MIS is an ITU flagship publication widely recognized as the repository of the world’s most reliable and impartial global data and analysis on the state of global ICT development. It is extensively relied upon by governments, international organizations, development banks and private sector analysts and investors worldwide.
Africa’s Information and Communication Technology Ranking
The ITU ICT Development Index 2017 (IDI 2017) featured in the MIS report is a unique benchmark of the level of ICT development in countries across the world. Mauritius tops the IDI 2017 rankings for Africa, with a global rank of 72 out of 176 countries ranked. Lowest on the global scale is Eritrea, taking the 176th spot. Namiba was identified as the most dynamic country by value change, whereas Uganda was the African country with the biggest rank jump up from 158 in 2016 to 152 this year.
There are considerable differences between geographic regions in the levels of ICT development as demonstrated by the IDI 2017. There is also significant variation in the experience of individual countries within each region – with these differences mainly associated with levels of economic development.
The average value for Africa in the IDI 2017 is 2.64 points. Mauritius, ranks in the upper half of the global IDI distribution. The region includes two of the three countries, which achieved the most dynamic improvements in their IDI value over the year – Namibia and Gabon.
The United States and Canada top the IDI 2017 ranking in the Americas region. The majority of countries in the region fall within the two middle quartiles. The most significant improvements in the Americas region were recorded by middle-ranking countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean.
The Arab States region is also very diverse in terms of IDI 2017 performance. This region includes a number of, high-income economies, including three countries Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. The strongest improvements in this region were seen in middle-income countries, whose average value rose by more than twice that of countries at the top and bottom of the regional distribution.
Seven economies in the Asia and the Pacific region have IDI 2017 values above 7.50 points and rank within the highest quartile, including the Republic of Korea which is ranked second overall. Six countries improved their IDI values by more than 0.40 points, led by the second most dynamic country in IDI 2017, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), only one country in the region, Belarus, is in the top quartile of the IDI 2017 ranking. The most dynamic countries in terms of IDI value were those at the bottom of the regional rankings – Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Europe has the highest average IDI 2017 value among world regions (7.50 points). As many as 28 of its 40 countries rank within the highest quartile. The most substantial improvements in value were recorded by Cyprus and Turkey.
ITU’s Africa region does not include the North African Arab States.