September 11, 2012 (The Web Index) – Ethiopia is among the bottom five countries in a new report published by the World Wide Web Foundation’s Web Index listing.
The study ranked a total of 61 countries on the number of individuals online as well as the amount of useful online content available to web users.
It also took into account the economic, political and social impact the Internet has had on countries.
For Ethiopia, this is minimal, at best, the report suggested.
In the capital, Addis Ababa, Internet cafe owner Jamal told Bikyamasr.com that as more and more Ethiopians look to English for their source of information, including local news, “the traditional outlets have yet to find a place in this market. Newspapers still struggle to have adequate websites that are fun and unique for people to get interested in.”
The survey reported that in Ethiopia, as in much of Africa, the Internet remained a luxury, with less than half of the populations being connected on a daily basis.
30 percent 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 the report explained.
Despite growing its local telecom sector in recent years, overall Internet penetration in Ethiopia remains small, and this has resulted in those going online likely to look toward English sources for entertainment and news.
“I hope we can start to have our own local industry soon because it would be a boost to those who don’t really speak English that well,” added Jamal.
•Web Index Report and Key Findings (5 September 2012)
•Web Index Snapshot (5 September 2012)
•Global Press Release announcing 2012 Web Index (5 September 2012)