The Middle East and Africa (MEA) will benefit from a 10.7% increase in IT spending in 2011. According to IDC, a research firm, this investment will drive deployment and adoption of e-government services across the region.
The company said that it expects MEA IT spending should rise to $6 billion in 2011, from $5.35 billion in 2010.
“Information and communication technology (ICT) will be increasingly recognised as a key driver of economic growth and productivity across the Middle East and Africa,” said Mukesh Chulani, senior research analyst at IDC. According to Chulani, regional governments see the sector as a way of “supporting innovation through more efficient utilisation of capital and labour”.
Encouraging trust and confidence in the public sector, and revamping “outmoded regulatory regimes” is also driving the investment in e-government Chulani said in a research note. Furthermore, the ongoing deployment of new network infrastructure will be a primary driver of the rollout and uptake of new e-government services.
“Plans are in place to lay an additional 60,000 kilometers of fibre-optic cable in the region over the next 18 months as part of $2.5 billion-worth of investment aimed at developing world-class telecommunications networks,” he said, commenting that a lack of adequate infrastructure has until now been a barrier to the provision of ICT services by the public sector.
“[New networks] will undoubtedly help alleviate any internal resistance when deploying e-government services to residents,” he added.
By Angela Meadon