Despite notable progress recorded so far in the enhancement of digital tools, Zimbabwe’s readiness to transform livelihoods through use of technology still lags behind its regional peers and worse still that of developing countries in other continents, a latest report says.
Zimbabwe is ranked 126 out of 134 economies, according to the Network Readiness Index 2020 and is 24th in Africa.
The Network Readiness Index (NRI) compiled by the Portulans Institute is one of the leading global indices on the application and impact of information and communication technology (ICT) in economies around the world.
Zimbabwe, which is categorized as a lower-middle-income country fared worse than some low income countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Madagascar, Gambia and Rwanda.
“When it comes to sub-pillars, the strongest showings of Zimbabwe relate to Future Technologies, Trust and Inclusion, among others. More could be done, though, to improve the economy’s performances in the SDG Contribution, Regulation and Quality of Life sub-pillars,” reads the report.
Rwanda (96) emerged as the best country among low-income nations.
Mauritius (61), South Africa (76) and Kenya (82) are Africa’s top performers, but the top-ten is mostly made up of European countries and the United States, with Sweden ranked first.
“Even though there is a lot of celebration around how far Africa has come, in terms of digitisation, there still is a lot more that needs to be done, if we really want to deliver an inclusive Africa,” Vera Songwe, executive secretary at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa told pan-Africa magazine, African Business.
The report uses McKinsey’s definition of digital transformation, which covers four areas of transformation: business process, business model, domain and cultural/organisational transformation.
Regional peers such as Kenya and South Africa, enjoy their best performance in the governance pillar, encouraging levels of trust, regulation and inclusion in use of technology.
Zimbabwe is yet to strengthen most of these pillars particularly that of governance through the use of technology.
Most of government departments and ministries either do not have websites with information available to the public or they have websites that are not updated showing outdated information.
On the legislative front, many laws are yet to be aligned with technological advancements.