Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Jamaica slips again in technology rankings

Published:Friday | July 15, 2016 | 7:00 AMSteven Jackson

Jamaica worsened one spot to rank 83 in this year's Global Information Technology Report (GITR).

The decline reflected continued low scores in the usage and the impact of technology, according to the report published this month.

Singapore led the world while Jamaica's ranking sank for the ninth time in ten years, according to GITR 2016 titled Innovating in the Digital Economy, published by the World Economic Forum, a Switzerland-based, non-aligned think tank.

Within the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago outranked Jamaica at 67. The 2016 report did not include rankings for Puerto Rico and Barbados, which also previously outperformed Jamaica.

Jamaica's overall ranking worsened nearly 40 places from 45 to 83 since 2006-07, the inaugural year of the GITR publication.

This year, the report surveyed 139 countries among which Jamaica ranked 121 for venture capital availability; 115 on the e-participation index; 106 for government procurement of advanced technology; 101 for number of days to enforce a contract; 104 in mobile network coverage; 96 for math and science education; and 95 for broadband connectivity.

The performance range of countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region remained widely dispersed with almost 100 places between Chile at 38th and Haiti at 137.

"There was no clear trend from 2015 to 2016 in terms of relative performance, with Chile and Haiti staying put; of the remaining group, half of the countries improve their ranking and the other half drop," the report stated.

Jamaica scored 3.9 out of seven in the net readiness index which measures all the countries in the survey.

"Considering the absolute net readiness index score, however, the region has been moving up and converging since 2012. In order to foster the innovation forces that are key for thriving in the digitised world and the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution, many governments in the region will urgently need to reinforce efforts to improve the regulatory and innovation environment in their countries," stated the report.

The net readiness index measures 10 pillars of technology within the context of usage by individuals, business and government.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com