Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Economist ranks Nigeria 62nd in e-Readiness-07

Nigeria has been ranked 62nd in an electronic readiness (e-Readiness) survey conducted in 69 countries by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

A white paper released by the EIU and made available to Business Champion at the just concluded eNNOVATE 2007 in Lagos, was conducted in collaboration with the International Business Machines (IBM).

The survey topped by Denmark, saw the United States and Sweden following a tie, whereas Hong Kong came third, and Switzerland took the fourth position.

In addition, the survey indicated that Nigeria performed poorly in the overall policy and vision category, but was commended in its digital development strategies.

EIU also said that the survey was based on the state of adaptation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by the 69 countries under review and drawn from various continents of the world.

“And the ability of its consumers, businesses and governments to use ICT to their benefit,” EIU declared.

Since 2000, EIU has been publishing its annual e-readiness ranking for the world’s largest economies.

The ranking model evaluates the technological, economic, political and social assets of 69 countries, including the newest addition, Malta and their cumulative impact on their respective information economies.

E-readiness is the “state of play” of a country’s information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and the ability of its consumers, businesses and governments to use ICT to their benefit.

EIU pointed out that when a nation does more online or, as is increasingly the case, wirelessly, the premise is that its economy could become more transparent and efficient.

“Our ranking allows governments to gauge the success of their technology initiatives against those of other countries. It also provides companies that wish to invest in online operations with an overview of the world’s most promising investment locations,” EIU stated in part of the white paper.

The e-readiness rankings, EIU pointed out are weighed collection of nearly 100 quantitative and qualitative criteria, organised into six distinct categories measuring the various components of a country’s social, political, economic and of course technological development.

The underlying principle behind the rankings, the survey said, is that digital business is at its heart business, and that for digital transactions to be widely adopted and efficient they have to thrive in a holistically supportive environment.

“E-readiness derives from more than just the number of computers, broadband connections and mobile phones in the country; also critical are citizens’ ability to utilise technology skilfully, the transparency of the business and legal systems, and the extent to which governments encourage the use of digital technologies,” the white paper read.

Global Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value, Mr. George Pohle, noted that in this and previous e-readiness rankings, the EIU has worked in cooperation with the IBM, which through its extensive business research provides strategic insights and recommendations used by senior executives around the world.

The EIU, however, is entirely responsible for the rankings and for the content of this white paper.

“To keep their countries on a competitive track, governments are clearly committing to ICT infrastructure initiatives,” he said, stressing that in order to truly succeed in the global economy, the evidence showed that focus on public-private sector partnerships could be used to ignite economic growth.

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