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Zambia ranks 81st in Inclusive Internet Index

he Inclusive Internet Index, commissioned by Facebook and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, returns for its second year. Expanded to cover 86 countries, up from 75 in 2017, the index provides a rigorous benchmark of national-level Internet inclusion across four categories:

  1. Availabilty
  2. Affordability
  3. Relevance
  4. Readiness

This year’s index, which covers 91% of the world’s population, is published alongside a new global Value of the Internet Survey, which polled 4,267 respondents from 85 countries, from Singapore and Switzerland to Cambodia and Ethiopia, to gauge perceptions on how Internet use affects people’s lives.

Zambia ranks near the bottom of African countries and last among lower-middle-income nations, with an overall rank of 81st out of 86. Performance is consistently poor across nearly every indicator, although trust and safety (35th out of 86) stands out as a strength due to top-ranked privacy regulations and relatively strong trust in both privacy and non-government websites. Sweden, Singapore and the United States of America take 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively while Madagascar, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo take the bottom 3 places at 84th, 85th and 86th place respectively.


This category examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of Internet usage. Under this the Inclusive Internet Index considers these factors:

  • Usage – measures the size of the connected population, in terms of Internet and mobile connectivity.

  • Quality – measures the quality of experience the connected population receives while using the Internet.

  • Infrastructure  measures the network availability and access points to an Internet or mobile connection.

  • Electricity  measures the basic infrastructure necessary to support Internet connectivity.


This category examines the cost of access relative to income and the level of competition in the Internet marketplace.

  • Price – measures the cost of Internet access relative to income.
  • Competitive Environment – measures the concentration of the marketplace for Internet service provision.


This category examines the existence and extent of local language content and relevant content.

  • Local Content – measures the availability of Internet content in the local language(s).

  • Relevant Content – measures the availability of news, finance, health, entertainment and business information. While the definition of “relevant” can vary, these types of content are common. “e-Content” refers to electronic or mobile content.


This category examines the capacity to access the Internet, including skills, cultural acceptance, and supporting policy.

  • Literacy – measures the level of education and preparedness to use the Internet.

  • Trust & Safety – measures Internet safety and cultural acceptance of the Internet.

  • Policy – measures the existence of national strategies that promote the safe and widespread use of the Internet.

See the full index here.




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