Ethiopian News and Views.

Ethiopia in Bottom Five on the Web Index

Ethiopia was placed in the bottom five countries on the World Wide Web Foundation’s Web Index according to a survey which ranked 61 countries on a range of criteria including the number of people online and the amount of useful content available.

The Index measures the economic, political and social impact the Internet has made on the countries.

The survey was intended to fill a need for uniform and publicly available date comparing countries and identifying areas for improvement according to Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

The most basic question asked if people were actually connected and if they had hardware to access the web he said.

On the medium level was the question of content and at the top is the impact the internet is having on people’s lives including answering questions like: Can you get a job on the Internet? Are you using it for health and for education? Is it affecting the way the country is being run? He explained.

The survey discovered that internet access was still a luxury in many parts of the world with just one in three people using the Web globally and only one in six in Africa.

The most significant challenge which prohibits billions of people for accessing their rights to participation and knowledge is the high price of connectivity which need to come down dramatically noted Berners-Lee.

30% of the countries covered by the survey faced severe to moderate government restrictions on web access and such restrictions could be the single most significant challenge to the future of the web he explained.

Seven of the bottom ten countries, including Ethiopia are to be found in Africa showing low levels of penetration. Benin, Burkinafaso, Zimbabewe and Yemen were all beneath Ethiopia making the bottom five while Sweden led the index followed by the United States, Britain, Canada and Finland.

Source: Reuters

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