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Nigeria Lags Far Behind South Africa, Ghana, And Kenya In Digital Readiness Ranking

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March 3, 2021, 3:01 p.m.

The country ranked 10th in Sub-Saharan Africa and 124th among 158 countries in a global index.

According to the report, frontier technologies will widen the existing inequalities between the rich and the poor further in the future.

The report urged all developing countries to adopt frontier technologies while continuing the diversification of their production bases by mastering the existing technologies.

To catch up with the frontier technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, Nigeria has to go a long way as it is ranked 124th among 158 countries in a global index.

The country trails South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, Gabon, Cape Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, and Senegal in the UNCTAD’s 2021 Technology and Innovation Report, which warned that frontier technologies would widen the existing inequalities between the rich and the poor further in future.

The report titled ‘Readiness for Frontier Technologies Index’ ranked 158 countries to understand their preparedness for adopting and using the frontier technologies. UNCTAD used five building blocks – ICT deployment, skills, research and development activity, industry activity, and access to finance to calculate each of the 158 countries’ index to prepare the report.

Out of the five blocks, Nigeria only performed well in research and development activities, standing 74th. The country's positions in other blocks are 124th in ICT development, 106th in skills, 155th in industry activity, and 149th in access to finance.

The report defined frontier technologies as tools that can give people certain capabilities to function like improved decision, strength, move objects across long distances and become free from disease.

UNCTAD said countries, especially the least developed and those in sub-Saharan Africa, are unprepared to equitably use, adopt and adapt to the ongoing technological revolution.

The report said this could have severe implications for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It urged all developing countries to adopt frontier technologies while continuing the diversification of their production bases by mastering the existing technologies.

These countries need to strengthen their innovation systems, as most of them are weak and prone to systemic failures and structural deficiencies, the report says.

According to the index, The United States, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Singapore, the Netherlands, and South Korea are the top seven countries on the log. UNCTAD also highlighted some exceptions, like India and the Philippines being the outperformers despite being lower-middle-income countries.

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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