While the government wants to reduce the 'Digital Divide' and transform Mauritius into a cyber island, it is clear that the road is long and bumpy. Despite the incentives of the Budget 2013, the country ranks less well this year it in the annual report of the World Economic Forum. In a world in crisis, the WEF stresses the importance of the technological tool.
"In the current economic context, the role that information technology and communication (ICT) can play in supporting economic growth and creating high quality jobs has never attracted much attention and research. There were some initial concerns about the risk in some developed countries, the ICT could accelerate the relocation of certain economic activities to developing countries.
But the benefits of ICT are now widely recognized everywhere as a major source of efficiency gains for companies that allow them to optimize their production function and liberalize resources to other productive investments. In addition, ICT is increasingly recognized as a key source of innovation that can generate greater economic growth and new sources of jobs with high added value. "
In the case of Mauritius, the WEF says that "at the 55th spot, two places lower than last year, Maurice continues to lead by far the regional standings with a strong enough policy and regulatory framework (36th) and strong vision of government (48) to build and deploy ICT as one of the three main strategic priority areas for the development of the national economy. Overall, the country has continued to develop its ICT structure, ensuring that it becomes affordable to support a stronger recovery of all economic actors in the country.
As a result, broadband subscription (60th) and the number of Internet users (81st) increased slightly, but the results also show that the use of ICT for business transactions (48) is larger than for individuals (92nd). ICT impacts are modest (80th), despite the presence of a favorable business environment (46th), mainly due to innovation underdeveloped (112th), which impairs the ability of countries ... "
Mauritius is part of a region where the 'digital divide' is the most obvious, especially sub-Saharan Africa. WEF and advocates that "policy makers can take advantage of variable effects of scanning through three main measures that go beyond their current roles of policy and regulation.
They must first create plans 'digitization' for targeted sectors in which they wish to maximize the impact of digitization. Second, they should encourage the development of skills and necessary catalysts for these plans scanning. Finally, policymakers should work with industry, consumers and government agencies to establish an inclusive ICT ecosystem that promotes greater adoption and use of digital services. "
Note that the first three places in the ranking are occupied by Finland, Singapore and Sweden.