Mauritius has emerged as the second highest-ranked countries in Africa, improving its rank from 93rd to 76th out of 193 member states of the United Nations, and is being regarded as one of the biggest improvers among Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the UN e-government survey.

The UN e-government survey presented a systematic assessment of the use and potential of ICT to transform the public sector by enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, access to public services and citizen participation, at all levels of development among surveyed countries.

Even though Mauritius is not ranked among the top 10 countries for the E-Government Development Index (EGDI), the island is seen as one the regional e-government leaders of the African continent and counts among the Top 20 countries in Africa.

Among African nations, the island has notched the highest EGDI after Tunisia, with 0.5390 and 0.5338 being the scores for Tunisia and Mauritius respectively, with the smallest country in North Africa having climbed 28 places to the 75th global position.

Although the survey stated that progress in Africa remains relatively slow and uneven with Africa’s regional EGDI average being a lowly 0.2661; Tunisia, Mauritius, Egypt, Seychelles, Morocco and South Africa are the six African countries which have EGDI values above the world average of 0.4712, placing them among the top 50% globally.

“Tunisia and Mauritius are the two highest-ranked countries in Africa, with Egypt, Seychelles, Morocco and South Africa following closely behind and showing progress as compared with the 2012 survey,” the survey outlined.

In contrast, out of 54 African countries, 16 reside among the bottom 10% in the world.

However, Africa as a whole exhibits a regional digital divide with most internet activity and digital infrastructure concentrated in South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Both Mauritius and Seychelles have consolidated their position in the regional top 5, with the latter also having significantly improved its world ranking, from 84th in 2012 to 81st in 2014.

In the global EGDI, the SIDS rank low as out of 38 island states, only 13 are ranked in the global 100 with the biggest improvers being Fiji (from 105th to 85th), Kiribati (from 149th to 132nd), Bahrain (from 36th to 18th) and Mauritius (from 93rd to 76th).

“The government of Mauritius has put in great effort in developing their online portal and their telecommunications infrastructure. Their website offers citizens as exhaustive list of e-services segmented by target persons (139 services), by domain (59 services), by ministry (53 services), by department (13 services) and parastatally (14 services),” the survey mentioned.

In addition, Mauritius has evolved greatly since independence, from a small-scale economy based on agriculture to a diversified middle-income economy.

Increased government investment in infrastructure, communications and education has raised the Human Capital Index of Mauritius and in turn elevated its ranking in the regional EGDI, noted the UN E-government survey 2014.

Besides, a large number of countries are now providing more archival information related to government policies and programs and, in 2014, more than 50% of the countries in the world, except in Africa, provided some data on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

Africa was behind other regions with only 28% of the countries providing data pertaining to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and these countries are: Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe represented the 19% of African countries which offer email or Really Simple Syndication (RSS) services to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

It is to be noted that the top 10 countries on the EGDI globally are, Korea, Australia, Singapore, France, Netherlands, Japan, USA, UK and Northern Ireland, New Zealand and Finland.

The island improved its global rank from 93rd to 76th out of 193 member states of the United Nations and is ranked second in Africa after Tunisia. (Image: Open text)

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