Monday, October 3, 2022

Botswana receives poor marks for digital well-being

The fourth annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) reports that Botswana ranks 106th in the world regarding digital well-being out of 117 countries, outpacing just 11 other nations.

The DQL study is conducted by the cybersecurity company Surfshark, and evaluates countries based on five fundamental digital well-being pillars: internet quality, e-government, e-infrastructure, internet affordability, and e-security.

Out of the five fundamental digital life pillars, Botswana’s worst score is for electronic security (ranking 109th globally), and the best is for internet affordability (89th). Botswana’s e-infrastructure services come 97th, while internet quality and electronic government rank 103rd and 107th, respectively. The ranking report notes that for the second year in a row, fixed broadband internet has become less affordable globally due to waging inflation, widening the digital divide.

Botswana is ranked 16th in Africa, while South Africa is the best.

Internet quality in Botswana is generally week, while on a global scale mobile internet is better than Botswana’s fixed internet quality, considering internet speed, stability, and growth.

Worldwide, the cost of broadband is rising every year. People will need to put in six more minutes of work in order to afford broadband internet in 2022 when compared to the nations included in last year’s index. The 2022 DQL research provided a comprehensive assessment by looking at more than 7,2 billion people in relation to five key pillars and 14 supporting indicators. The study is based on open-source information from the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union, and other sources.

For the cheapest fixed broadband internet package, people must work an average of two weeks in some nations, such as the Ivory Coast and Uganda. Last year, the same pattern was seen. The pressure on low-income households that require the internet has increased due to the current inflation. The study by Surfshark also revealed that countries with the worst internet connections must wait the longest to access it.

Israel ranked first in the Surfshark Digital Quality of Life Index. Denmark, which was ranked first overall last year and the year before, has dropped to second place. Overall, Europe has seven of the top ten highest-scoring countries, as it has for the past three years. The bottom five lowest –ranking countries were Mozambique, Yemen, Congo DR, Cameroon and Ethiopia.

The head of PR at Surfshark said the research aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the global digital divide, which affects millions of people. “While countries with a strong digital quality of life tend to be those of advanced economies, our global study found that money doesn’t always buy digital happiness,” she said.

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