Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kenya rises six points in connectivity ranking

PHOTO | FILE Kenya has been ranked 94 out of 132 in terms of connectivity.

PHOTO | FILE Kenya has been ranked 94 out of 132 in terms of connectivity.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MUTHOKI MUMO [email protected]

Kenya has inched up six positions in the global ranking of economic and social connectivity.

The country was placed 94 out of 132 countries in the Global Connectivity Index published last week by German logistics firm Deutsche Post (DHL). In the previous edition of the index, Kenya was in the 104 position.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya was ranked 11, beating countries like Senegal, Malawi, and Namibia. South Africa and Nigeria were the most connected countries in the region.

The DHL global connectivity index analyses movement in people, information, capital, and goods as a measure of globalisation. The index indicates that although sub-Saharan Africa is the least “globalised” region in the world, it has the fastest growing connectivity rates, with the top five most improved countries coming from the region.

Kenya’s improved ranking was partly due to the fact that the country’s global connectivity has remained relatively unchanged since 2005, even through the global financial crisis.

“Kenya’s connectedness has generally remained fairly stable since 2005,” reads the report.

DHL said internationally, nations are less globalised in 2012 than they were in 2007. Part of the reason is the global financial crisis that ate into cross-border capital flows and reduced the disposable income of would-be travellers.

On the other hand, Kenya’s outward migration has not been greatly affected. The country was ranked 37 internationally for the number of tertiary students studying abroad. Kenya also has relatively high inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI), which saw it racked 56 internationally for movement of capital.

Globally, trade plummeted to an estimated 25 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) in comparison to the 30 per cent of GDP that was reported in 2008.

Information flow was also affected. Despite greater technology, the report notes that most people across the world are confining information exchange to narrow geographic areas.

“Only two per cent of voice calling minutes are international despite rapidly falling costs and improving call quality,” reads the report.

In contrast, Kenya’s technology boom has corresponded with greater international linkages. The country was ranked fourth internationally for the breadth of inbound international telephone calls.

This matches data from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), which shows increases in the number of international calls into the country.

In its latest statistics, CCK notes that the number of international incoming traffic grew by 12.1 per cent in the year to June 2012 while outgoing traffic grew by 26.8 per cent.

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