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Government sector IT spending set to soar

IDC predicts double-digit growth in spending for 2011

Government sector IT spending set to soar
The IDC has predicted that government IT spending in the region is set to soar in 2011.

The government sector in the Middle East and Africa spent $5.35bn on IT during 2010 and the region is set to see double-digit growth in 2011, according to research by IDC's Government Insights team.

The Middle East and Africa Government Sector Top 10 Predictions, 2011 report shows that IT spending by MEA governments will surge 10.7% year-on-year in 2011 as they look to revamp and develop existing IT infrastructures and encourage greater adoption of ICT across their jurisdictions.

"Information and communication technology [ICT] will increasingly be recognised as a key driver of economic growth and productivity across the Middle East and Africa," said Mukesh Chulani, senior research analyst for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey at IDC Government Insights. "Many governments across the region acknowledge through their national strategic plans that decisive action is required to mobilise citizens and residents and develop ICT capabilities. Much of the interest in ICT regionally is linked to its potential for raising productivity and supporting innovation through more efficient utilisation of capital and labour."

Chulani also expects the implementation of regional fibre-optic networks to encourage the deployment of technology services by MEA governments.

"The lack of adequate network communications infrastructure has previously inhibited the efficient and affordable provision of ICT-based services by the MEA public sector," he said. "But plans are in place to lay an additional 60,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cable in the region over the next 18 months as part of $2.5bn worth of investment aimed at developing world-class telecommunications networks, and this will undoubtedly help alleviate any internal resistance when deploying e-government services to residents."

IDC's Middle East and Africa Government Sector Top 10 Predictions, 2011 report looks  at the issues and challenges that governments across the region need to address to ensure the continued development of IT infrastructure.

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