Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jordan ranks 44th in global ICT readiness report

The Global Information Technology Report for 2009/2010 by the World Economic Forum is now available. It is based on a Networked Readiness Index (NRI), and it’s worth reading to see how prepared countries around the world are to use ICT effectively.
Apart from all the analysis, covering business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT, the most interesting part is the ranking of countries in terms of ICT readiness, which sums up the report.

And, it is my pleasure to inform you that several Arab countries enjoy a respectable ranking.

The UAE, in particular, comes in at number 23, just before Ireland at 24 which is considered a very advanced technology economy!

And, to be honest, it is also a pleasure to see at least one Arab country ranking ahead of Israel, which came in at number 28.

So, what about Jordan? For all our good work in ICT over the past decade, Jordan makes it into the top fifty, coming in at number 44.

Not too bad in a list ranking 133 countries- which means we’re in the top third- but only reasonably impressive within a regional context as Bahrain and Qatar come in at 29 and 30 respectively, and Saudi Arabia coming in at 38 completes the group of four Arab countries ahead of us in the report.

The top three Arab countries get a special mention by a senior economist and co-editor of the report, who says "UAE, Bahrain and Qatar's superior capacity to leverage ICT as an enabler of sustainable, long-term economic growth in the Middle East region is a direct result of the focus placed by governments on knowledge-based economies with particular emphasis on education, innovation, as well as ICT access and diffusion."

We’re doing that in Jordan too, but maybe the extent of investment and the size of our economy relative to those Gulf countries puts us at a disadvantage.
As far as ‘ICT readiness’ is concerned, we’ve made strides in empowering the key stakeholder groups to use and benefit from ICT, and we will be climbing up the list.

For now, the most ‘networked’ Arab country is the UAE, and the least networked are Kuwait at number 76 and Syria at 105. So, Jordan sits in the leading group of Arab countries, but must and probably will do better in the near future.

Access the full report here:


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