Seychelles ranked first in Africa on ICT development index


 A teacher delivering lessons through the use of ICT. Seychelles has been ranked first in Africa on the ICT development index

Information on the ranking was released in the 2012 edition of Measuring Information Society, an annual report produced by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jeffery Dogley, director general of the communications division in the department of information communication technology (DICT) said this week Seychelles has welcomed the ranking.

“The ranking is very good news for Seychelles but we should not be complacent but continue to work with telecommunication operators in the country to seek ways to make ICT more accessible to the population and also better address their concerns regarding ICT,” said Mr Dogley.

He noted that a major progress the country has made is to be connected to the international submarine cable system. This is expected to improve the quality and performance of internet services especially in terms of speed and bandwidth.

It is worthy to note that over the last 12 months almost all countries have seen growth in their ICT uptake and much of this is attributed to uptake in mobile broadband subscription.

Measuring Information Society is based on authoritative benchmarking tools and the results point to potential stumbling blocks in ICT adoption and seeks to help countries identify their relative strengths and weaknesses, thus, providing useful information for formulation of evidence-based policies.

Mr Dogley said even though the ranking is proof of the significant progress Seychelles has made, a lot remains to be done to address the country’s shortcomings when it comes to the quality and affordability of services the operators are  providing the population.

He noted that even though no recent household surveys have been conducted with regard to ICT access and affordability, statistics gathered through the 2010 census show that in spite of an increase in the number of internet subscribers with 38% of household having computers, only 18% have access to internet.

He said the government is planning to work with operators to continue to increase internet access to households. It is hoped that the newly launched laptop scheme for post secondary students will increase access to computers but with regard to internet connection, until another household survey is conducted it will not be easy to determine the factor or factors responsible for the low internet connection percentage.

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