Malta ranks tenth on EU digital economy and society index

(source: Unsplash/Adeolu Eletu)

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Malta ranked tenth on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2018 out of the EU28, published by the European Commission. Malta performed slightly above the European Union average.

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri welcomed the result and urged for further educating the youth improving their skills in the sector, according to a press statement by the government’s Department of Information (DOI).

“While Malta’s digital infrastructure is at the forefront as reflected in the DESI assessment itself, our next challenge is to enhance the existing skills and that of future generations which are now required in most jobs,” Mr Schembri said.

Malta also ranked second in terms of the take-up of fast broadband available to households. In 2018, some 69% of households were equipped with fast broadband service while the European average stood at 41%. Mobile broadband take-up was up to 97% in 2018, from 65% in 2016.

At the same time, when addressing the DESI results, Mr Schembri also highlighted the importance of gender equality in the workplace. “While as a country we have moved fast in the digital space, we are still lagging behind in female participation in the ICT sector. Hence, as a government, we are committed to boosting our efforts in encouraging women to pursue a career in this industry,” he said.

In addition to comparing the EU28 countries, the bloc is also compared to 17 other countries internationally by the International Digital Economy and Society Index (I-DESI). While the top four DESI scoring EU countries come as second after South Korea — and before Norway — on the I-DESI list, the EU average fits well into the international average, according to this measure.

The I-DESI utilises 24 datasets to analyse and compare 45 countries — the EU28 and 17 non-EU. The comparison is made based on five dimensions developed by DESI; connectivity, digital skills, citizens use of internet, business technology integration and digital public services.

The full study is available for public download at the website of the European Commission.