In this week’s blog I want to highlight some trends „to be watched“ in terms of ICT for Development (ICT4D) in Mozambique, based on the ITU Report 2011: Measuring the Information Society.
Fast growth in mobile subscriptions, especially in emerging markets, is observed along a continued decline in fixed telephony. However, according to ITU the most expensive mobile-cellular tariffs in relative terms are found in low-income developing countries, with Mozambique being mentioned among the top ten relatively most expensive countries, despite mobile services are becoming cheaper and more affordable.
Fixed-broadband access is improving in Africa with new submarine cables bringing extra bandwidth. Consequently prices for ICT services in Africa’s fixed-broadband sub-basket fell by more than 50% (2008-2010). Together, the increase of coverage, capacity and speed of mobile-broadband services, as well as a more reliable backbone infrastructure offered by fibre-optic networks, suggest that Mozambique also may benefit from improved quality of service.
But what does this mean in a local context, where more and more people do have internet at their hand, but not in their mind?
Looking at the ICT Development Index (IDI), Mozambique is ranked 145 out of 152 countries listed in the ITU Report 2011. „Ohh, another index .. and yes, again we find ourselves ranked close to the bottom“. Such generalizing statements would prevent us to understand more what the IDI is all about.
The figure above shows the three stages in the evolution towards an information society. Analysing the situation in Mozambique per sub-index provides some interesting details. While Mozambique is ranked overall at position 145, the sub-index ranking regarding „access“ stands at 141, compared to positions 135 for „use“ and 147 in „skills“.
Making sense of this differences suggest – in line with my own remarks at the con.moz homepage – that general access to ICT and determination of ICT use are ahead the level of individual ICT skills. It underpins the need for an innovative approach to accelerate „digital literacy“ among all social groups in Mozambique. It also confirms the mission and objectives of con.moz reaching out nationwide as brand provider for mobile internet and web-based applications education and training, thus contributing to take part in the globally evident shift to move away from mobiles for calls to mobiles for internet access.
Link: ITU Report 2011 „Measuring the Information Society“ http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/publications/idi/2011/