South Africa ranked 70th in the World Economic Forum (EWF), out of 144 countries, for its Information Communication Technologies (ICT) sector. The EWF aims to measure the growth experienced by countries in this sector and reports that South Africa climbed two places since the release of its previous Network Readiness Index’s report.
SA’s Internet Bandwidth Given the Thumbs Up
The WEF report notes that South Africa has seen a sharp improvement in the development of its international internet bandwidth capacity and is also making good strides with regard to ICT infrastructure.
The EWF adds that Sub-Saharan Africa has made significant strides in improving its ICT infrastructure which reflects in the development of its broadband infrastructure and the expansion of mobile network coverage in the area. The report reflects that an increase in the amount of internet usage is also visible with governments making an effort to expand the availability of online services.
An important reason for celebrating the improvement in access to ICT’s across Sub-Saharan Africa is that it goes hand in hand with skills development which, ultimately, leads to higher living standards. Further, ICT’s also give citizens a voice and a means of communication with government by allowing them to view governments plans and proposals and to follow up on whether promises that were made during elections are adhered to.
In addition, online portals to communicate with government offer a peaceful way of protesting and showing unhappiness with service delivery.
As access to technology keeps developing across Africa, it will become easier for governments to build skills, ensure infrastructure development and provide jobs to citizens. Owing to a global interest in African resource development, infrastructure growth will be a positive for investors.
Subsequently, the setup and establishment of ICT technologies can be problematic when developments projects are undertaken in certain African areas owing tot he shortage of adequate infrastructure to support information communication technologies, such as energy shortages.
To view the full WEF report click here.