Cyprus ranked 21st among 27 EU Member States in the 2021 edition of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).
According to the report, Cyprus has improved its performance in almost all DESI categories, although in most cases it still scored below the EU average.
Most of the progress has been made in connectivity, as the island ranked above the EU average on mobile broadband take-up, has improved its coverage of Very High Capacity Networks (VHCN) and scores 67 per cent in the 5G readiness indicator, which means that the biggest part of the 5G pioneer spectrum harmonised at EU level has already been assigned.
However, the country is still well below the EU average in the take-up of fast broadband, while almost one in two Cypriots lack basic digital skills.
Moreover, despite growing demand in the labour market, the supply of ICT specialists is still below the EU average.
The deputy ministry of research, innovation and digital policy (DMRID) is responsible for implementing the Digital Strategy for Cyprus 2020-2030, which the EU report indicated as the main factor that will accelerate the country’s digital transformation.
The strategy, adopted in June 2020, is set to contribute substantially to economic growth and productivity, aiming to achieve the digital transformation of the public sector (e-government), promote the digital transformation of the private sector, facilitate high-speed network connectivity, and promote innovation in line with the country’s level of digital maturity.
The EU DESI report also added that Cyprus is in the preparation of an ‘e-skills Action Plan’ to develop and strengthen digital skills across all population groups.
The action plan aims to “deliver an open and accessible digital society, fully reaping the benefits of digital transformation, boost basic digital and basic software skills and act as a driver of an accelerated digital transition.”