The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked Zimbabwe among the worst countries in telecommunications competiveness according to the 2010/11 Global Information Technology report released on Tuesday.
WEF said the country had remained a poor technological performer in the last year.
According to the GITR, since the inaugural 2006/7 survey Zimbabwe ranking has been dropping from 177 in 2006–2007, 125 (2007–2008) and 132 in both 2008–2009 and 2009–2010.
“Zambia and Mozambique have significantly improved their showings, though each at its own pace, whereas Zimbabwe has remained among the worst performers throughout the period,” reads part of the report.
WEF ranked the inclusive government’s prioritisation of Information, communications and Technology (ICT) issues at 116, with government’s procurement of advanced technology and importance of ICT to government vision ranked 123 and 127 respectively.
Government’s success in ICT promotion was ranked 126.
On infrastructure, usage/uptake and more particularly, readiness, the country scored poorly as it was ranked 125.
Poor scores were also scored under business usage as indicated by technology absorption, impact of ICT on new products/services, extent of business Internet use and capacity for innovation.
However, there were notable improvements on the burden of government regulation (79 place) and 92 on number of procedures to start a business.
On usage of virtual social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) for professional and personal communication Zimbabwe occupies slot 125 and 127 on Internet access in schools.
The report said that assessment of sub-Saharan Africa’s networked readiness continues to be disappointing, with the majority of the region lagging in the bottom half of the NRI rankings expect for Mauritius (47th) and South Africa (61st).
“Even though ICT penetration rates have soared in the region over recent years, boosted by mobile telephony, and many countries have started to leverage more and more ICT to improve efficiency and reach out more and more to citizens, sub-Saharan Africa does not seem to have progressed as much and as fast as other areas of the world,” reads part of the report.
The report further added that underdeveloped infrastructure, inefficient markets, opaque regulatory environments, inadequate educational standards and widespread poverty were
In producing the influential GITR, the WEF’s researchers tapped into international bodies like the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations and the World Bank.