07 September, 2012

Yemen ranks bottom in Tim Berners-Lee's Web Index

Tim Berners-Lee's Web Index
Not surprising: with the country's many complex and enormous problems and it being one of the most unstable, and with the poorest infrastructure in the region; with the country being one of the poorest in the world and most of its citizens, deep in poverty - Yemen ranks lowest (with a web index of zero) in Tim Berners-Lee's just launched web index – a new country-by-country global study that measures the impact of the Web on the world’s people and nations.
Designed and produced by the World Wide Web Foundation, the Web Index is the world’s first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations. It covers 61 developed and developing countries, incorporating indicators that assess the political, economic and social impact of the Web, as well as indicators of Web connectivity and infrastructure.
The web index used data from the past five years, and scored nations in seven different categories: communications infrastructure - the state and availability of web-enabling infrastructure; institutional infrastructure - education, laws, regulation and censorship; web content - what relevant and useful content is available; web use - the extent to which the web is used in a country; political impact; economic impact and social impact.

According to the index, 30% of countries face moderate to severe government restrictions on access to websites, while about half of them show increasing threats to press freedom. According to the index, Iceland has the greatest web use, with 95% of its population online. Yemen ranks bottom of the index in three categories, including social and economic impact of the web.

Surprisingly, in the Arab world, the tiny, with very little population nation of Qatar ranks highest (with a web index of 60.75), followed by Tunisia (with a web index of 50.68) and at third is Jordan (with a web index of 44.52). Of Muslim countries, the same Qatar, has the highest points - followed by Turkey (with a web index of 53.7) and at third is Kazakhstan (with a web index of 53.46).

Very few Yemenis use the Internet. Reportedly, local statistics show that about 1% in the country use the Internet. But these statistics are not reliable; due to there not being a proper study and census, there are many people who use the Internet in the country that the study does not show. One thing I am certain about is that, in Hadhramaut, in urban areas in particular, a large percentage of its population use the Internet; in cities like Mukalla and Seiyoun, many, if not most people, including Bedouins, have Internet access or have it at home. I am certain that, should a proper study or census be made, Hadhramout would lead in the country, by a large percentage margin.

+See Berners-Lee's List here: Web Index 2012 scores
+ World Wide Web Foundation 
+ Tim Berners-Lee