Bahrain Ranks High in Multiple ICT Development Indices
The most prominent ICT indexes in the world highlight Kingdom of Bahrain in the top tear, according to recent global reports. The Kingdom of Bahrain achieved a ranking of 11th place in the Telecommunications sub-index of 2016's e-Government Development Index (EGDI), published by the United Nations. The ranking reflects an increase of 15 ranks over its previous position in the 2014 index.
The Kingdom’s achievement, which was announced in the United Nations latest e-Government Survey Report published in July, represents the latest in a series of international achievements for the Kingdom of Bahrain which comes as a result of the Government’s strategic development plan, and efforts of the sector’s stakeholders. Bahrain has also maintained its lead in the Arab region’s ICT Index. The report shows that the value of Bahrain’s telecommunications infrastructure index reached 0.7762 (The highest score being “1”) in 2016, compared to 0.4183 in 2012, increasing by 86%. Last November Bahrain had been named the “Best Progress Award” winner in the ICT development index by the International Telecommunications Union at the Global ICT Forum in Hiroshima, Japan.
On this occasion, His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications said, “This global achievement is a result of the strategic leadership of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the information and communications sector and the efforts of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in implementing an effective regulatory framework for the sector. The Kingdom of Bahrain aspires, through the objectives set out in the Fourth National Telecommunications Plan, to be ranked among the top twenty countries globally by 2018 and to achieve continuous growth and development in order for the Kingdom to reap even greater socioeconomic benefits. ”
Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Dr. Mohammed Al Amer congratulated Bahrain’s Government on obtaining such advanced global rankings, praising TRA’s outstanding efforts in the development and growth of the telecommunications sector in Bahrain. He also commended the Information and e-Government Authority, and added that work be continued to maintain progress and achievements.
The global achievements of the Kingdom of Bahrain also extend to progress in the Network Readiness Index (NRI), advancing two places from 2015 for a current ranking of 28th globally, according to the 2016 Global Information Technology report issued by the World Economic Forum last month.
The NRI measures countries propensity and readiness to capitalize on the opportunities offered by information and communications technology. The countries that topped the index are characterised by having a supportive and enabling environment, effective organisation and infrastructure and diverse skilled human capital which enables swift and effective leveraging of the latest technologies to the fullest extent.
The Kingdom of Bahrain has also been ranked high in the sub indices of the NRI, including being ranked first globally in percentage of coverage of mobile communications networks, as well as fourth and fifth places, respectively, in the number of broadband subscribers and the number of mobile communications subscribers. The Kingdom has also been ranked tenth globally in the percentage of individual Internet usage and the efficiency and impact of services provided by the Kingdom through information and communications technology.
It is also worth mentioning that the Fourth National Telecommunications Plan issued earlier this year aims through its policy objectives to raise the ranking of the Kingdom to the ranks of the most developed countries in all international telecommunications indicators. The implementation of the plan has begun with the implementation of the National Broadband Network providing high-speed fiber-optic services which will enable the sector to be able to effectively adapt and respond to the rapid pace of technological developments. The Plan also aims to make Bahrain a regional center for information and communications technology through the presence of able and skilled human capital and attract investment and support for entrepreneurs in the field of information and communications technology. The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain also pays particular attention to the promotion and development of local content, applications and hosting to enable the Kingdom to become a regional hub for exporting local digital content.