The Inclusive Internet Index, commissioned by Facebook and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, recently released The Inclusive Internet Index 2018. This index covers 91% of the world population.
The index provides a rigorous benchmark of national-level Internet inclusion across four categories: Availability, A ordability, Relevance and Readiness. It was launched in 2017 and it aims to determine the progress in closing the digital divide as well as the relevant criteria that enable success and Internet growth.
- According to the report, Internet connectivity grew 8.3% over the past year, with a 65.1% increase in low-income countries. Progress was fastest in low-income countries, where the proportion of households with Internet access grew from 8.0% to 13.2%, a 65.1% improvement.
- The mobile Internet gap between the rich and poor is shrinking while the gender gap in Internet inclusion is still far too pervasive.
- Nepal had a 138.1% increase in internet connection, which is the second highest increment among low-income countries. One of the largest contributions to this increase is the development of national e-inclusion policies, as mentioned in the report.
- Nepal ranked 3rd among 12 low-income countries for inclusivity after Tanzania, and Senegal. It ranks 1st among the 12 low-income countries for Availability and Readiness. However, in overall i.e. when compared with all the countries, Nepal ranks in 70th position out of 86. In Asia, Nepal has the second-lowest overall score ahead of only Cambodia.
- The report also mentioned some progressive plans in place. Along with Nepal, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda have plans to provide digital skill training for women and girls. While Malawi and Mozambique are focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
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