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SA holds steady on network readiness

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South Africa has maintained its 70th position in the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2014, reflecting the country’s ability to use information and communication technology (ICT) to drive growth and enhance social and economic wellbeing.

The GITR, sponsored by Cisco, measures the capacity of 148 economies to leverage ICT for growth and economic and social transformation. According to the report, South Africa’s ranking in the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) is second only to Mauritius in the sub-Saharan Africa region. It also improved its NRI score to 4.0, from 3.9 in 2013 – the highest possible score being 7.

Alpheus Mangale, Managing Director Cisco South Africa, says: “South Africa’s increase in internet access numbers, is leading to many important innovations that provide more and better services, such as financial services, that were previously unavailable. ICTs are a key source of new opportunities to foster innovation and boost economic and social prosperity, for both advanced and emerging economies.

“The recent creation of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services is indicative of the importance that government is placing on driving ICT growth and it is because of positive and focused steps like this that South Africa’s ranking is holding steady. The South African government is aware of the importance of growth in ICT and the benefits that can be realised in sectors such as education, healthcare and transportation, if they embrace the Internet of Everything. The measures they are implementing to ensure all citizens will be connected by 2020, as part of its South Africa Connect programme and the National Development Plan, will go a long way towards yielding the projected 5% economic growth and creation of six million jobs by 2019,” concludes Mangale.

Published under the theme “Rewards and Risks of Big Data”, the GITR’s NRI is the result of a long-standing partnership between the World Economic Forum and INSEAD, and, since last year, with the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

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