The South African Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Using ICT indicators to measure readiness of countries to implement Industry 4.0 and the SDGs

At the epicentre of Industry 4.0 is Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and across the 17 Sustainable Development (SDGs) are indicators focusing on ICT. In addition, SDG 9 focuses on promoting sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation. This paper samples 212 countries and regions, drawing up a 2015 baseline composite index using three out of six ICT-related SDGs indicators with data. The data come from the World Development Indicators database and the min–max method of computing the composite index was applied. The fndings show that the top 10 countries scored between 71.27 and 78.26 points out of the weighted total of 100, while the bottom 10 countries (all African) registered between 0.02 and 5.80 points. As for the regions, the European Union came top at 60.20 points and sub-Saharan Africa was last at 13.04 points. The African country ranked frst (Seychelles) scored 43.83 points and ranked 80th overall. Broadly, there is signifcant work required to prepare all countries for Industry 4.0 through ICT and to work towards attaining ICT-related SDGs targets by 2030. We recommend that right platforms be set up to promote ICT scale-up and lessen the convergence period between frontrunner countries and those lagging behind.

For the full paper please visit https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10018-019-00259-1.pdf

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