Guyana ranks 90th in ICT report

Guyana ranks 90th in ICT report

 Stabroek News – April 20, 2012

(Jamaica Gleaner) Jamaica dipped one spot to rank 74th overall in The Global Information Technology Report (GITP) 2012 published this month, but tied with 57 other countries to take the number one spot in the telecoms competition subcategory.

The overall level of competition in all the categories is assessed based on monopoly, partial competition, and full competition.

Sweden led the world for the third consecutive year whilst Jamaica’s ranking sank for the sixth consecutive year, according to the GITP 2012 Living in a Hyper-connected World, published by the World Economic Forum (WEO), based in Switzerland. The WEO is an independent non-aligned organisation that seeks to shape global and industry agendas.

Jamaica’s performance actually improved, but its rank dipped due to the addition of four nations to the 142-nation report. 

Jamaica scored 3.86 or slightly higher on the Network Readiness Index, versus 3.78 in the last report. The network readiness index ranks countries based on three pillars related to its usage by government, individuals and business; the readiness amongst individuals, government and business; and the market, political and infrastructural environment.

Jamaica’s number-one ranking in telecoms competition relates to internet services, international long distance services, and mobile telephone services as at October 2011. In fact, Jamaica tied with 57 other nations in the number one category in the competition subcategory.

The finding occurred prior to the termination of service by cell provider Claro last month when Digicel, which acquired that the competition in August last year, shot down the network.

“For each economy, the level of competition in each of the categories is assessed as follows: monopoly, partial competition, and full competition,” the report said.

Jamaica’s overall ranking dipped 29 places from 45 to 74 among 122 nations over the six years since the 2006-2007 report. The island’s performance averages that of the Caribbean and Latin American region, which lags the world, according to the report.

“Latin America and the Caribbean continue to suffer from an important lag in adopting ICT and technology more broadly,” said the report.

“This is reflected in the rankings, as no country manages to reach the top 30 and only a handful of small economies manage to be included among the top 50 – the exceptions are Barbados, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Uruguay,” stated the report on the region.

The report identified three shared reasons why the region is lagging: insufficient investment in developing ICT infrastructure, a weak skill base in the population due to poor educational systems, and unfavourable business conditions that do not support the spur of entrepreneurship and innovation.

“Addressing these weaknesses will be crucial for improving the region’s competitiveness and shifting its economies toward more knowledge-based activities,” it states.

Other regional rankings included: Barbados (35th), Puerto Rico (36th), Uruguay (39th), Panama (57th), Costa Rica (58th), Trinidad and Tobago (60th), Brazil (65th), Colombia (73rd), Mexico 76th, Dominican Republic (87th), Guyana (90th), Belize (119th) and Haiti (142nd).

Sweden, Singapore, Finland, Denmark and Switzerland rank at one to five, respectively. The most networked countries typically have governments that place ICT at the core of development. The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom ranked at eight to 10, respectively.

The report commended Barbados and Puerto Rico, arguing that their strengths outweigh their disadvantages.

“Both economies boast environments conducive for entrepreneurship and benefit from relatively robust ICT infrastructures, although mobile coverage in Puerto Rico (123rd) remains insufficient,” said the report.

“In the case of Barbados, the strong skill base (10th) results in a large individual uptake of technology (24th) and offsets the high costs of using ICT (102nd). On the other hand, Puerto Rico needs to further develop the skills of its population (78th), which currently negatively affects the uptake of technology by individuals (53rd),” added the report.

“In both cases, ICT development has been led mainly by the private sector, especially in the case of Puerto Rico (21st), as the governments in both islands have lagged behind in steering ICT progress (61st and 54th, respectively),” the report explained.

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  • Cyril Balkaran  On April 25, 2012 at 8:46 am

    The basis of the ICT generated report of 145 countries by a Switzerland based World EConomic FORUM does not auger well for those depressed and recovering global economies, considering the period of that particular report. Guyana’s 90th position in the sub categories as internet services. International Long Distance Services and Mobile telephone services are low in ranking due to which of the Sweden Based Criteria. Jamaica has three and a half million people, while Guyana has less than one million. This Survey must be based on the country’s investment in such state of the art Technologies within the Global families of Nation. Those who Commit funding to this kind of infrastructure are aware that their countries cannot afford such technologies at this time. The Caribbean and Latin America are lagging behind not due to the fact that they want to deny their populace the use of such technologies but because the country Priority Funding cannot afford to put these ICT demands in the high ranking order of Priorities. The other factors that ICT must consider on a population basis and country’s geographgical basis then the User profile will change for all countries.While we want to use the state of the art technologies as mentioned in the report there is absolutely no remorse for the positions countries occupy at this time. With adequate expansion of these services and by International Companies who offer such technologies for a price and an agreed agenda, no country will be left behind. Expansion of such services must be done on a phased manner and as our Priorities change from month to month and day to day. there is absolutely no need to cut your nose to spoil your beautiful faces. Investment in ICT driven technologies are an investment the affluent nations can afford. We are happy to improve on our services at a price we can afford. The Transatlantic Cable Corporations will be willing to do business with all those countries that fall under ranking 60 and below in this 145 number of States. No crime has been committed. It is not a Corruption Index that the WEO is dealing with or else we in Guyana would have been proud to be in such a 90 th ranking and even lower in such a situational analysis. Perhaps many of those named countries in this report should find ways and means to dismantle the white collar criminal industries in their own economic backyards while seeking to dismantle the Corruption Industries in their homeland, then the needed Funding will be able to come into the coffers of their Countries so that their population can enjoy the luxuries of being in the forefront of the ICT and its Technological Development Globally.

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