Surprises of Africa’s digital revolution: Where Zimbabwe, Libya, Algeria are leading villains

Plus the continent's top pirates, and those who do worst in science school

One surprise in the Global Information Technology Report is that tiny Gambia edged out regional giants such as Nigeria and Algeria in the progress it has made in information and communication technologies. 

However, there are a few more: 

Software piracy rate: Most African countries were not ranked on this indicator due to a shortage of data (proof as just how good the pirates are at staying off the grid, perhaps?) But for those that were:
1. Zimbabwe—92% of software is pirated.
2. Libya—90%
3. Algeria—84%
It’s surprising that Libya and, especially, Algeria have such high piracy rates considering its relatively prosperous middle class. One reason could be that the latest technologies are just not available in those countries, according to this indicator: 

Availability of latest technologies (out of 148 economies)
147. Chad
144. Algeria
141. Libya

Venture capital availability: How easy is it to get an investor for your tech business in Africa?
It’s hardest in:
Burkina Faso
Sierra Leone

•And easiest in:
South Africa

Tech-savvy governments in Africa don’t necessarily feature the expected names, according to this indicator— Government procurement of advanced technology products: 1. Rwanda
2. The Gambia 
3. Zambia

Despite a showing in other indicators, Kenyans – credited with innovations like crisis-sourcing platform Ushahidi and mobile phone-based payment system M-Pesa - are accessing digital content all the same:
Accessibility of digital content:
1. Kenya
2. The Gambia
3. Seychelles

•Strong African economies have surprisingly poor education systems: While the focus has been on South Africa’s math and science education being ranked lowest of all 148 countries in the Index, the other bad performers, especially Egypt, are equally surprising: 
148. South Africa
147. Angola
145. Egypt


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