Seychelles maintains 1st position in Africa in ICT and is the most dynamic in ICT Development Index
According to the 2013 edition of “Measuring Information Society” (MIS) Report which is published annually by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in Geneva, Switzerland, Seychelles is ranked 64th out of 157 countries for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Development Index (IDI). This also means that Seychelles has maintained its 1st position in ICT development the African region ahead of Mauritius and South Africa, which are ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Measuring Information Society is based on authoritative benchmarking tools and the results point to potential stumbling blocks in ICT adoption. It can be used to assist countries to identify their relative strengths and weaknesses. Thus, providing useful information for formulation of evidence based policies.
ICT Development Index (IDI) captures progress made in regards to three sub-indices, namely ICT access and infrastructure, ICT use and ICT skills. The main objectives of IDI are to measure: the level and evolution over time of ICT developments in countries, relative to other countries, progress in ICT development in both developed and developing countries. Additionally it seeks to measure the digital divide; that is the differences between countries with varying levels of ICT development and the existing development potential of ICT’s or the extent to which countries can make use of ICT’s to enhance growth and development, based on available capabilities and skills
According to the report, Seychelles’ increase in rank from 70th to 64th, places the country amongst the most dynamic in the IDI 2012. Notably, Seychelles has an IDI of 4.75 and is one of only two African countries with an IDI above the global average of 5.47, the second being Mauritius at 4.55. Based on the report, Seychelles improved in all sub categories of the IDI. However, Seychelles stands out for improvements in the ICT access sub-index, as it increased its IDI access sub-index value by 0.62 which is more than three times the global average increase of 0.20.
A major progress which has been made is the introduction of the international submarine cable system in 2012, which as expected has translated in better provision in the quality and performance of Internet services, especially in terms of speed and available bandwidth. The MIS Report 2013 pointed out that the percentage of individuals using the Internet (47 per cent) and the countries fixed (wired)-broadband penetration (12 per cent) are the highest of all countries in the African region. Additionally, the report indicated that the available international Internet bandwidth almost tripled in 2012, which has contributed in improving the position of Seychelles.
This ranking represents the continuous effort of the Government of Seychelles in partnership with the service providers to promote ICT access throughout the country. The importance of the Internet is making it an unavoidable element of our everyday lives as it is becoming essential to society in helping to improve effectiveness and the development of the society.
Principle Secretary of the Department of ICT (DICT), Mr Ben Choppy, representing Vice President, Danny Faure is attending the CTO (Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation) Forum and Council meeting in Abuja, Nigeria.
P.S Choppy stated “It is clear that the ITU IDI (ICT Development Index) report shows that Seychelles is one of countries that have shown the most progress in this area and remains the country with the highest IDI in the African region, ahead of Mauritius (ranked 70th) and South Africa (ranked 84th). This is a further indication that the policies and strategies being pursued in Seychelles is in the right direction for this sector.”