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General News Thu, 10 Mar 2005

Ghana ranked 65th in IT index

Top 5: Singapore, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, US
Ghana has moved from 74th place to 65th place in the World Economic Forum's (WEF's) Networked Readiness Index, published on Wednesday. The index measures the propensity for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by ICT.

According to the report, Singapore is the world's number one economy in exploiting information and communication technologies (ICT). The United States, which ceded the top billing to Singapore, was ranked fifth this time around. Finland reached the number three position for the second time in a row.

South Africa lost the top spot among the 23 African countries covered to Tunisia, which held the 40th position last year, has moved up to 31st place.

Other African countries in the index include South Africa (34), Mauritius (47), Botswana (50), Morocco (54), Namibia (55), Egypt (57), Gambia (74) and Nigeria (86). The lowest-ranking country overall was Chad.

According to the WEF's Global Information Technology Report, the index is based on three pillars.

The first relates to aspects of the environment of a given nation for ICT development, such as the regulatory regime and legal framework for ICT, available infrastructure and other factors; the second deals with actual levels of networked readiness of individuals, businesses and governments; and the third focus is on actual levels of ICT usage by these groups.

The index ranks 104 countries on these criteria.

?There is a strong correlation between ICT spending and productivity, which is demonstrated in this research as a strong correlation between the rankings and global competitiveness,? says John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems, the report's sponsor.

?While ICT usage is a measure of the present, ICT readiness is perhaps a measure of the future.?

The WEF says the US's loss in rank has less to do with erosion in performance and more with continuing improvements among its competitors.

?It is clear that information and communications technologies will continue to play a growing role in boosting the efficiency of the increasingly integrated global economy, enabling countries to improve resource allocation and boost growth prospects,? says report co-editor Augusto Lopez-Claros, director of the WEF's Global Competitiveness Programme.
The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, estimates that the report's margin of error is in the region of ten placings up or down.
According to a source, the fact that two thirds of the report's findings are based on interviews where company directors and other experts have only commented on their own country's performance, significantly weakens the study's accuracy.


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