The ITU has just released Measuring the Information Society 2007: ICT Opportunity Index and World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators. This report includes the annual data on basic telecom indicators, which many rely on for research, writing and policy formulation. Contrary to the title, the data are from 2005, but still, this is one of the few sources of comprehensive data where all countries are represented.
This particular report also ranks countries by something called the ICT Opportunity Index. According to this ranking, Zimbabwe (Rank = 127) has greater ICT opportunities than Pakistan (139), India (133) and Sri Lanka (128).
Readers of this website are generally aware of the rapid growth of telecom in these three countries, and India is pretty much a brand name for ICT these days. How Zimbabwe, with one of the worst records of misgovernance in the world can do better than these three countries is a subject worthy of debate.
For the record, Zimbabwe was heading for 1500% inflation in January 2007 according to African sources, and its diplomats had not been paid for months. The telecom sector in Zimbabwe seems to be in crisis as well.
So, the question are, is the ITU’s ICT Opportunity Index flawed? If yes, how? If not, should Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka strive to emulate Zimbabwe’s monetary and telecom regulatory practices?