Digital adoption in Nigeria is becoming questionable following the recent report that shows Nigeria is no where near the 67 economies in the world that adopt and deploy digital technologies.
Last year, IMD World Competitiveness Centre unveiled the first edition of the digital competitiveness report, a report that assesses the level and extent at which a country adopts and explores digital technologies leading to transformation in government practices, business models and society.
In this year’s edition Nigeria was missing on the world digital competitiveness ranking with South Africa being the only African country ranked 49th out of 63 economies. The United States , Singapore and Sweden took the lead in that order.
Among the top 10 digital countries are Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
According to the report, the US is the leading digital nation, overtaking Singapore to the top spot. In 2017, Singapore was ranked in first place, but has dropped to second place this year. While Sweden slipped off from second place to the third spot in the overall ranking.
According to IMD World Competitiveness Centre, knowledge, technology and future readiness were the criteria upon which digital competitiveness was defined.
The knowledge factor refers to the intangible infrastructure, which underlines the process of digital transformation through the discovery, understanding and learning of new technologies.
The technology indicator assesses the overall context through which the development of digital technologies is enabled. Future readiness examines the level of country preparedness of an economy to assume its digital transformation.
According to Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre, “The USA capitalises on its improvements in knowledge and in technology. It remains stable in future readiness.”
He said gains in knowledge result from a strong performance in employee training and an increase in the share of scientific and technical employment, while the furthering of the technology factor capitalises on slight advancement in all its sub-factors, including connectivity infrastructure.
The 63 economies, most of which have a high or middle level of income per capita, are then ranked from the most to the least competitive and the results are compared to the previous year’s ranking.
In terms of 2019 results, 29 countries, which represent the majority of the economies in the study, experienced an improvement in their level of digital competitiveness. However, 26 nations, including South Africa, declined. Only eight economies remained in the same position.
According to the report, South Africa‘s drop in the ranking was influenced by the decline in knowledge and future readiness. It shows knowledge dropped to 52nd from 49th, while future readiness declined to 43rd from 42nd. The drop in knowledge is partly due to declines in talent, as well as training and education.
Future readiness is negatively affected by decreases in adaptive attitudes and business agility, states the report.
While two indicators declined, there was a slight improvement in the technology factor. The improved ranking in technology, the study notes, results from the slight advancement of the country’s regulatory framework and an increase in investment in telecommunications.
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