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The word is currently on the 4th industrial revolution, and Africa as a continent wants to be counted as among the big players. This time not just as a source of raw materials, but also as a major producer as well as consumer of products of the 4th industrial revolution.

So what is this 4th industrial revolution? Well, it’s not agriculture, nor processing, neither manufacturing, it is digitization of process. In this modern world, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the biggest industrial revolution of our time. It has become critical in achieving great effectiveness and efficiency in operations, with information being send/received at the speed of light and it is readily available at our fingertips.

The African continent sure has its fair share of challenges, but ICT has proven to be useful to leapfrogging some of these issues. As expected, some countries have adopted ICT faster and deployed its use more effectively than others, thus are ripping higher benefits than others. Then there are those countries that are just starting to appreciate the use of ICT.

Well, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) since 2009 has been ranking countries in accordance to their ICT proficiency formally known as the ICT Development Index (IDI). The ITU publishes the IDI annually and the report contains a composite index combining 11 indicators merging them into one benchmark measure.

The 11 indicators:

The number of fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

Mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

International internet bandwidth (bit/s) per internet user

Percentage of households with a computer

Percentage of households with internet access

Percentage of individuals using the internet

Fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

Mean years of schooling rate

Gross enrolment ratio secondary level

Gross enrolment ratio tertiary level

With the 11 indicators mentioned above in mind, the ITU’s 2017 IDI report listed the following countries as having the most advanced levels of ICT penetration across the African continent:

2017 Ranking

2016 Ranking

Country

Africa

Globally

Score

Globally

Score

Mauritius

1

72

5.88

75

5.51

Seychelles

2

90

5.03

92

4.80

South Africa

3

92

4.96

88

4.91

Cape Verde

4

93

4.92

91

4.83

Botswana

5

105

4.59

102

4.51

Gabon

6

114

4.11

118

3.62

Ghana

7

116

4.05

113

3.88

Namibia

8

118

3.89

123

3.33

Côte d’Ivoire

9

131

3.14

134

2.84

Saint Tomé & Principe

10

132

3.09

131

2.91

 

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