ICT investment & jobs – Country case studies

by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, 2012
Research Report. Human Sciences Research Council

South Africa’s aspiration for 2020 is to achieve 100% broadband coverage, while maximising both economic and employment growth. A number of paths can be followed to achieve this target: enabling digital citizens, supporting the industry, and building global leadership in ICT products and services. These dimensions are not sequential. For example, India was not a global leader in creating digital citizenship; rather, it achieved success in building service industries. This report is part of the Vision 2020 process of the Department of Communications. It reviews a number of countries that exemplify the three approaches and are in some way comparable to South Africa. Country peer groups were identified in order to set the appropriate targets for 2020 and learn lessons for driving growth, impact and investment. Three categories of peers were identified: those that a decade ago were comparable to South Africa today, in terms of both socio-economic and legacy infrastructure; those that are largely comparable, but less pronounced; and other African countries. Country peers include: Bolivia, Colombia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Philippines, Brazil, Malaysia, India, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria. Comparatively, these countries outperformed South Africa and offer lessons in terms of the policies that helped drive the growth of ICT.