COMPUTING

Mauritius goes down six places in global ICT rankings

According to a global report on ICT, Mauritius is ranked 51st in the use of ICT for its development. Operators point at the need to go faster in implementing the right strategies. With the ICT at school and training programmes, the government targets the public but what about e-government?

Mauritius has lost six rankings. The country is losing ground in its degree of preparation to participate in and benefit from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) developments. This is at least the conclusion of the Global Information Technology Report published recently by the World Economic Forum (WEF). While Mauritius claims to be a cyber-island, how come it has gone down by six ranks in one year?

Dev Kisoondoyal, head of the IT department of Teleforma and involved in the making of the first report of this type in 2001 as an expert for Mauritius, says there are factors that explain this fall. "There are numerous factors that explain the drop. First, six new countries were involved in the list so it may have disrupted the ranking." However, he is very critical about the fact that "Mauritius has not taken any further initiative as far as ICT is concerned for a whole year."

This report is a benchmarking tool to determine national ICT strengths and weaknesses and evaluate progress. It also highlights the continuing importance of ICT application and development for economic growth. The Networked Readiness Index - used to assess the countries - is based on three main components: the environment for ICT offered by a country or a community, the readiness of the community's key stakeholders (individuals, business and governments) and the use of ICT among these stakeholders.

E-government is among the initiatives that have stood still during the past year. "Denmark, which has reached the first place, has benefited a lot from e-leadership by government. It had a clear vision to use e-services to reach growth and has succeeded," stated Dave Kisoondoyal. "The Mauritian government also can do it. But it has to accelerate the use of ICT at all levels - individual, business and state."

But ICT minister, Etienne Sinatambou, agrees that we should see beyond these statistics. "With globalisation, Mauritius must be more competitive to become a reference point.”.

(Source: L'Express)

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