GCC countries dominate ICT development index

GCC countries dominate ICT development indexGCC countries have dominated a key information and communications technology (ICT) index, it has been revealed.

International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) Arabia, the governing body and certification authority for the ICDL certification programme in Egypt, GCC states and Iraq, has expanded on the findings of the 2014 report published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), pointing out the outstanding performance of the GCC countries in the survey.

ITU is the UN’s specialised agency for ICT, said a report.

The ITU’s flagship annual report ‘Measuring the Information Society Report’ has identified Gulf countries among the group of “most dynamic countries,” having recorded above-average improvements in their ICT Development Index (IDI) rank over the past 12 months.

According to the UN report, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman are the top five among Arab states and within the top 60 globally in the IDI, a composite measure that ranks 166 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills.

Bahrain ranked number one with an IDI of 7.40 while the UAE jumped 14 places to earn second rank with an IDI of 7.03.

Qatar was third with 7.01, followed by Saudi Arabia in fourth and Oman in fifth position with IDIs of 6.36 and 6.10, respectively.

“These are exciting times for the ICT sector as the world is shifting towards a smarter society characterised by the integration of fresher technologies, the adoption of new standards and legislations on digital advancement, and the emergence of products and solutions for mobility, business and the likes,” ICDL Arabia director general Jamil Ezzo said.

The recent UN study demonstrates the GCC countries leading role in the technology shift, with five GCC states joining the world’s top 60 countries in êCT development.

The IDI top 30 rankings include Australia, Bahrain (ranked 27), Canada, Japan, Macau, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US.

Denmark was ranked first, followed by South Korea which ranked second.

Almost all countries surveyed improved their IDI rankings, with the CIS and Arab states demonstrating the highest improvements in regional IDI averages.

The report further highlighted that Internet usage continued to grow steadily at 6.6 per cent globally last year.

The number of Internet users in developing countries has doubled in the last five years (2009-2014), with two-thirds of all people online.

Almost 44 per cent of households globally will have Internet access at home, up from 40 per cent last year and 30 per cent in 2010. –

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