Qatar leads the entire Arab world and is ranked 23rd globally in “network readiness”, reveals a report released jointly by international business school – INSEAD and the World Economic Forum.
According to the 12th annual Global Information Technology Report (GITR) prepared with the support of Booz and Company and CISCO, Qatar has climbed five places up in the global rankings, which clearly reflects on the government’s efforts at enhancing online services in the country.
Leading the Arab world, Qatar (23rd) rises five places in the rankings which is due to the government’s sharp effort to expand its offerings of online services (27th) and increase the online participation of citizens (22nd).
Qatar ranks in the top five on two pillars relating to government ICT usage and overall ICT skills. Qatar has achieved improved footing in seven of the ten sub-indices contributing to the overall network readiness and usage, the report said.
In Qatar, mobile broadband subscriptions have exploded, leaping from 9.6% last year (43rd) to 70.3% this year (11th).
However, fixed broadband affordability represents Qatar’s “most significant weakness” (103rd), which is a by-product of “high fixed broadband Internet tariffs and relatively low competition”.
“This may affect the level of broadband Internet subscriptions (62nd) but the overall level of penetration and use of ICTs (16th) is high. That, coupled with the government’s strong vision and its commitment to rapidly develop ICTs (2nd) as a means to diversify its economy, along with its efforts to create a business-friendly environment (12th) to spur entrepreneurship, have resulted in this strong overall assessment,” the report said.
“Going forward, in order to translate the existing good ICT uptake into stronger economic impacts (33rd), Qatar should continue investing in increasing the level of university enrollment (108th) so it can benefit from a higher local talent pool and strengthen its overall innovation system,” said Miguel Lobo, INSEAD associate professor of Decision Sciences and Director of the Abu Dhabi campus.
The report assesses the digital ecosystems of some 144 developed and developing countries — accounting for more than 98% of the world’s GDP. By ranking each nation using the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), the study examines how these markets leverage advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) to drive economic productivity and social development.
Besides Qatar, the report ranks two GCC countries in the top 30 list globally for the second consecutive year, and another two in the top 40: the UAE (25), Bahrain (29), Saudi Arabia (31) and Oman (40), demonstrating that they continue to embrace ICT to boost their country’s competitiveness.
In contrast, countries in the Levant and North Africa still lag behind and face challenges to fully leverage ICT. Jordan ranked (47), Egypt (80), Morocco (89), Lebanon (94) and Algeria (131).
Source: Caye Global News, Gulf Times
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