South Africa Maintains Lead in e-Readiness Rankings

South Africa has recorded leadership in some key areas of ICT development according to a recent report produced by IBM, through its Institute of Business Value, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. These key areas include legal environment, consumer and business adoption of ICT, as well as government policy and vision around this strategic industry to the country's economic growth.

SA holds rank one in Middle East & Africa (ME&A) on Legal Environment criteria and Consumer and Business Adoption. While second in ME&A on Government Policy and Vision criteria. Second after UAE in ME&A for its Connectivity and Technology Infrastructure. Second (after UAE) in ME&A on Business Environment criteria. Overall, SA's ranking fell slightly in 2008 to 5,95, or four places to 39th position. To improve its e-Readiness position, the report recommends that SA makes strategic investments in infrastructure, and encourages public-private partnerships to ensure progress and top quality. Both Finland and Denmark, for instance, were unable to maintain previous ICT spending levels or to improve upon (albeit impressive) public and corporate access to digital channels. By contrast, those countries that have advanced in the top 10 are, US, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Australia. These countries have largely done so on the back of improvements in connectivity both in fixed and wireless broadband access, as well as in their innovation environments.

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