By Mark Kawalya
Uganda is ranked 107th in the world by Surfshark’s 5th annual Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL). This marks a nine-place drop from the previous year. Uganda ranked 81st out of the 5 pillars of the index and did best in e-security, but struggled with internet pricing, placing 116th. The country is ranked 108th for internet quality, 99th for e-government, and 112th for e-infrastructure. Uganda outranks Tanzania (113th) in the overall index but trails Kenya (76th). Africa as a whole lags behind in terms of digital quality of life, with Uganda ranking 14th on the continent.
“It worries me that Uganda is ranked so poorly in the DQL Index. In many countries, the idea of “quality of life” has expanded to include a larger definition of “digital quality of life.” There’s no other way to look at it now that so many daily activities, including work, education, and leisure, are done online. That’s why it’s crucial to pinpoint the areas in which a nation’s digital quality of life thrives and where attention is needed, which is the precise purpose of the DQL Index”, says Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, Surfshark’s spokeswoman.
Internet quality in Uganda is 30% lower than the world average.
- In Uganda, fixed internet speeds are typically about 20 Mbps. To put that in perspective, Singapore has the fastest fixed internet in the world, with a speed of 300 Mbps. Yemen now has fixed internet, which is the slowest in the world at 11 Mbps.
- The typical mobile data speed is 35 Mbps. The UAE has the world’s fastest mobile internet at 310 Mbps, while Venezuela has the slowest at 10 Mbps.
- Uganda’s mobile internet is 38% faster than Tanzania’s, while fixed broadband is 8% slower. In Uganda, fixed broadband speed has increased by 23%, while mobile internet speed has increased by 70% since last year.
Uganda is 81st in the world in e-security—15 places lower than last year.
The e-security pillar assesses a nation’s ability to combat cybercrime and the sophistication of its data protection regulations. Uganda fares better than Tanzania, which comes in at number 114, but falls short of Kenya, which comes in at number 65 in the e-security pillar. Uganda has weak data protection legislation, making it unprepared to combat cybercrime.
Compared to other nations, Uganda has more expensive internet costs.
- For fixed broadband internet, Ugandans need to work 33 hours and 39 minutes each month. It costs 113 times more than in Romania, where fixed internet is the most affordable in the world (Romanians have to work 18 minutes a month to pay for it).
- To afford mobile internet, Ugandans must work 4 hours, 16 minutes, and 54 seconds every month. This costs 16 times more than mobile internet in Luxembourg, which is the country with the lowest monthly cost in the world (Luxembourgers must work 16 minutes a month to afford it).