Mauritius in top five global economies on Internet Affordability Index
The top five emerging countries highlighted in the report are as follows: Malaysia, Mauritius, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. (Image: BGR)
ICT hub Mauritius has once again shown its dominance in the technology landscape of Africa, and indeed, globally, featuring among the top five emerging economies globally on the newly launched Affordability index.
Of the 46 African economies registered in the Affordability Index report, the top 5 African countries which have been ranked as leaders across emerging and developing economies are: Morocco, Mauritius, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda.
Globally, the top five emerging countries highlighted in the report are as follows: Malaysia, Mauritius, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia, while the top five developing countries are: Morocco, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda.
The inaugural index was launched at the first annual edition of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), which kicked off on December 8, 2013 at the ICTD Conference in Cape Town.
Nowadays, the internet is fast becoming an indispensable tool in our everyday life, whether it is for education or for work. However, not all countries can afford it because of the high prices imposed by the broadband market.
The report highlights that people who earn a salary of US $2 per month in the 46 countries studied by the UN Broadband Commission cannot afford the internet because it costs as much as 40% of their monthly income and in some countries it can be more than 80% or even 100%.
For this reason, in some countries, households cannot access the Internet due to high broadband costs, increasing the digital divide and hampering economic and social progress.
Dr Bitange Ndemo, honorary chairperson of A4AI and the immediate former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communications, said that the Affordability Report must encourage policy makers, businesses and civil society organizations in all countries to act.
He noted that the target to make the broadband Internet less than 5% of monthly income is difficult and will take time to achieve.
Sonia Jorge, executive director of A4AI, added that A4AI is willing to help reducing the cost of broadband.
To achieve the goal of making Internet accessible in many countries, the cost must be reduced through effective and efficient use of Universal Service Fund and full support must be extended to the development of National Broadband Plans.
However, notwithstanding the huge impact of ICT development on economic growth, several African countries like Zimbabwe and Malawi are lagging behind in internet adoption and affordability.