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  • Gaborone, Botswana  24 November 2016
    ITU statistics symposium debates access to ICTs for Sustainable Development

    More than 400 participants from 59 countries, including government ministers, vice-ministers, Directors-General and leaders from business, academia and United Nations agencies met in Gaborone, Botswana, from 21 to 25 November, to attend ITU's World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS-16).

    The Symposium, was organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and hosted by the Government of Botswana.

    WTIS-16 featured a Ministerial Roundtable on leaving no one behind in the digital revolution; a Leaders' Dialogue on the structural impact of ICTs on societies and economies;  and the launch of the Measuring Information Society Report 2016 and ICT Development Index (IDI) 2016.

    Participants also debated and addressed a wide range of topical issues including measuring digital inclusion and data literacy, bundled services and the Internet of Things (IoT), and indicators for disaster risk reduction.

    "This WTIS has provided ICT sector players with yet another unique platform to exchange knowledge, share best practices and identify areas that need improvement so that none is left behind in the digital economy," said Brahima Sanou. "Global interconnectedness is spreading rapidly with many countries reaping the benefits of more liberalized and competitive ICT markets that encourage innovation and technology uptake across all sectors," said Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau.

    ITU's flagship annual Measuring the Information Society Report was released in Gaborone on 22 November.

    The report's annual ICT Development Index (IDI) country rankings were announced at a high-level WTIS-16 award ceremony. The Republic of Korea ranked number one in this year's IDI, which is a composite measurement that ranks 175 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills. Iceland, Denmark and Switzerland completed the top four countries.

    The most dynamic country in IDI 2016 is St. Kitts and Nevis, which moved up 20 places to 34th in the rankings in this year's Index. Very substantial gains were also made by Algeria, Bhutan, Dominica and Myanmar.

    At a ceremony held on 25 November, the Government of Tunisia offered to host WTIS in 2017.

    First held in 1996, and annually since 2005, WTIS has evolved to become the main global forum for telecommunications and information society measurement. The event provides a unique platform for ICT data users and producers to meet and share knowledge and best practices, identify business opportunities and enhance cooperation.