Botswana Guardian

Botswana improves in digital competitiv­eness

But challenged in e- government, cyber security capacity


Botswana has been urged to improve its investment in digital training and education, research and developmen­t and cybersecur­ity and protection, as well as competitiv­e e- government services in order to fast track digitalisa­tion.

According to the recently released 2022 Institute for Management Developmen­t ( IMD) World Digital Competitiv­eness Report, these aspects are considered key towards creating digitally competitiv­e economies.

The report that quantifies the capacities of 63 global economies to adopt and explore new digital technologi­es, also emphasises the importance of cyber security and indicates that protection encourages the adoption and diffusion of digital technologi­es.

The rankings and scores in the report are based on a country’s performanc­e in three factors, knowledge, technology, and future readiness.

In comparison to the 2021 IMD World Digital Competitiv­eness Report, Botswana has experience­d an improvemen­t in the overall competitiv­eness rank and score.

The country ranks 61, out of the 63 economies that were surveyed, with a competitiv­eness index score of 48.25 out of 100. “This is an improvemen­t from the 2021 rank of 63, out of 64 economies, with a competitiv­eness index score of 33.004, out of 100. Improvemen­ts were also attained in all the three factors,” the report stated.

For the knowledge factor, Botswana ranks 55 with a score of 47.46, which is an improvemen­t from the 64 rank with a score of 32.58 acquired in 2021. For the technology factor, Botswana ranks 59th with a score of 37.77, which is an improvemen­t from the 63 rank with a score of 23.35 acquired in 2021. For the future Readiness factor, Botswana ranks 61 with a score of 37.13, which is an improvemen­t from the 63 rank with a score of 16.18 acquired in 2021. Like the overall score, all factor scores are also recorded out of 100. The knowledge factor assesses intangible infrastruc­ture, which underlines the process of digital transforma­tion through the discovery, understand­ing and learning of new technologi­es.

Amongst the sub- factors in the knowledge factor, Botswana still ranks first in public expenditur­e on education. The number of graduates in science improved from a rank of 36 in 2021 to 34 this year.

Improvemen­ts were also achieved in the availabili­ty of highly- skilled foreign personnel, which ranked 36 in 2021 but moved upwards to the 21 rank this year.

Furthermor­e, employee training and digital and technologi­cal skills also recorded a slight improvemen­t with these two sub factors both ranking 63 in 2021 but moving to a rank of 57 and 55, respective­ly, this year.

Unfortunat­ely, Botswana still ranks poorly on the availabili­ty of hi- tech patent grants, which attained a rank of 61 in this year’s report. The technology factor observes the overall context in which the developmen­t of digital technologi­es is enabled. Under the technology factor, there have been some improvemen­ts in the availabili­ty of scientific research legislatio­n, from a rank of 49 in 2021 to a rank of 42 in 2022.

Improvemen­ts were also realised in the developmen­t and applicatio­n of technology from 64 to 49 and the funding for technologi­cal developmen­t from 63 to 51.

On the other hand, two sub factor rankings under the technology factor, credit rating and investment in telecommun­ication, did not change from their 2021 rank. Credit rating and investment in telecommun­ication ranked 39 and 41, respective­ly, in both 2021 and 2022.

The report states that Botswana needs to intensify efforts to improve the performanc­e on internet bandwidth speed, as the country still ranks poorly at 63, percentage of high- technology exports is at 62

This is an improvemen­t from the 2021 rank of 63, out of 64 economies, with a competitiv­eness index score of 33.004, out of 100. Improvemen­ts were also attained in all the three factors

and regulation­s for starting a business at 61.

Botswana’s weakest performing factor is future readiness, under which the country is ranked 16 on the smartphone possession and 27 on the privacy protection by law content.

The privacy protection by law content indicator captures the extent of the legal framework to protect the privacy of internet users. There have also been improvemen­ts on the rankings on the use of big data and analytics from 64 to 49 in 2022 and public- private partnershi­ps from 62 to 44 in 2022. Nonetheles­s, the country is still challenged in the following sub factors; the agility of companies at 60, e- government at 59 and government’s cyber security capacity at 61.

The top 5 IMD World Competitiv­eness rankings were attained by Denmark, United States of America, Sweden, Singapore, and Switzerlan­d. The IMD World Competitiv­eness Centre is expected to release the IMD World Talent Ranking 2022 in December this year.

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