South Africa Current Affairs - 2019

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Inclusive Internet Index 2019

The Inclusive Internet Index 2019 was prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for Facebook. The ‘Inclusive Internet’ score was based on the scores of availability, affordability, relevance and readiness categories.

The 2019 Index evaluated 100 countries, representing 94 per cent of the world’s population and 96 per cent of global GDP.

Findings of the Inclusive Internet Index 2019 Report

  • Sweden has topped the rankings followed by Singapore and the US.
  • India has been ranked 47th.
  • Men have more Internet access than women globally but low and lower middle income countries narrowed the gender gap in 2018.
  • The UK, Namibia, Ireland, Austria, Chile and South Africa are the top performers of the year in terms of gender equality. All these countries had female digital skills training plans.
  • The report notes that Inclusion for women and those with disabilities have improved, with low income and lower-middle-income countries driving the progress.
  • The report notes that the affordability is declining relative to monthly income in many countries. This is disproportionately affecting women and people in low-income countries who are more reliant on mobile as their primary means of accessing the Internet.
  • The percentage of households connected to the Internet globally increased, on average from 53.1 per cent to 54.8 per cent, the rate of growth in Internet connections slowed to 2.9 per cent in 2019 from 7.7 per cent in 2018.
  • Fixed-line Internet access is too expensive or inaccessible in some countries, as a result, mobile services are critical in these regions.
  • The lower-middle-income countries made a significant 66 per cent improvement in 4G coverage and low-income countries witnessed a moderate 22 per cent improvement.
  • Web accessibility standards have also improved. The improvements were led by low and lower middle income countries.
  • There are about 3.8 billion people around the world without fast and reliable Internet access.
  • Even though the overall gap between those with access to the Internet and those without narrowed, the lowest income countries fell behind because they improved at a slower rate than other countries and much slower than last year.
  • Internet connections in low-income countries increased by marginal 0.8 per cent compared to 65.1 per cent last year.
  • More than half (52.2 per cent) of respondents said they are not confident about their online privacy.
  • Majority of respondents (74.4 per cent) think the Internet has been the most effective tool for finding jobs

The report highlights that there are demonstrable benefits from comprehensive female e-inclusion policies, digital skills programmes and targets for women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Month: Categories: InternationalUPSC

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IBSA Gandhi-Mandela Memorial Freedom Lecture

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the first IBSA Gandhi-Mandela Memorial Freedom Lecture. Highlights from the Speech are:

  • Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela wanted to see the elimination of poverty and a world where nations respect one another and multilateralism was upheld and respected and there was tolerance for each other’s religion, race, caste and regional affiliation.
  • India and South Africa are separated by an ocean but bound together by the collective energies of people. The legacies of Gandhi and Mandela have never been more important than they are today. Both India and South Africa have a collective role in addressing the global economy which is facing a number of challenges right now.
  • President Ramaphosa India and South Africa recalled the words of Jawaharlal Nehru’s who called Asia and Africa sister continents in 1955.
  • President Ramaphosa remembered Ahmed Kathrada and Ismail Mohammad for their contribution to South Africa’s democracy and Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Ela Gandhi for playing a leading role in the women’s movement in South Africa.
  • President Ramaphosa thanked people of India for their courage, encouragement, inspiration they have sent during our struggle for liberation. He noted that India’s consistent solidarity towards liberation struggles of not just South Africa but of other countries as well
  • The legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela go far beyond their stature as the founding fathers of our two great countries India and South Africa.
  • President Ramaphosa lauded efforts of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela on justice and liberty, for human dignity and human rights and non-violent resistance.

IBSA

IBSA is an international tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among India, Brazil and South Africa. IBSA symbolises three important poles for galvanizing South-South cooperation and greater understanding between three important continents of the developing world namely, Africa, Asia and South America.

IBSA provides with a platform for the three countries to engage in discussions for cooperation in the field of agriculture, trade, culture, and defence among others.

Month: Categories: InternationalUPSC

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