Effective ICT remains far-fetched


The government considers Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) education and the adoption of modern techniques very important. A ‘strategic necessity of business’ is needed to improve governance and efficiency of public sector organizations which remain poor users of modern technology.

Center for Global Competitiveness and Performance, World Economic Forum (WEF) Associate Director Thierry Geiger while addressing a gathering at CIO Year Ahead ’12 Summit on June 2 through video call stated that the Pakistani government is not the heavy user of ICT.

While sharing Pakistan’s global status of competitiveness in the Information Technology sector, he said that the government of Pakistan is far behind in all the three components, namely, environment, readiness, and usage of ICT out of 138 economies of the world. For the usage component, the penetration of ICT is quite low despite the fact that the government can reduce red tape and corruption and ensure transparency.

However, he admitted that ICT would not solve all issues in developing countries and it is just a part of a developing strategy, yet the government needs to understand the role of ICT in development because WEF cannot recommend what actually should be done.

While citing the role of ICT in India, he said we know it played great role in the development of India but it still did not help much to combat social problems.
According to the Global Information Technology Report for the year 2010-11 by WEF, Pakistan stands at 88 out of 138 countries, in terms of networked readiness, while it stood at 84 in the same pattern for the year 2006-07 out of a total of 122 countries.

For the usage component, the government’s rank stands at number 87, while it position is number 68 for government’s success in ICT promotion, 91 for ICT use and government efficiency, 97 for government online service index, and 66 for E-participation index.

In the environment component, the country’s status is 87 for availability of latest technologies, 71 for burden of government regulation, and 46 for the extent and effect of taxation.

Similarly, it stands at number 102 for effectiveness of law-making bodies, 103 for laws relating to ICT, 85 for intellectual property protection, and 94 for software piracy rate. For the business usage component, it has achieved a ranking of 58 for capacity of innovation, 102 for extent of business internet use, 83 for impact of ICT on new service and products and 63 for impact of ICT on new organizational models.

Towards the end, the executive summary of the report considers two ways in which ICT in enterprises can benefit the poor, firstly by the utilisation of ICT in enterprises of direct relevance to farmers, fishermen and other micro enterprises in low-income countries and secondly, when the poor are directly involved in the sector and are employed producing ICT goods and services.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan’s rank is 123 out of total 139 countries in the Global Competitiveness Index 2010-11.