Estonia has topped the ranks in serving the digital needs of its population, according to a Digital Life Abroad Report released by German-based InterNations.
The world's largest online expatriate community ranked Estonia, Finland, Norway, Denmark and New Zealand the top five countries in the world for offering the best digital environment. Within the GCC states, Bahrain (12th) ranks far ahead of Qatar (28th), the UAE (37th), Oman (46th), Kuwait (56th), and Saudi Arabia (63rd), the report stated..
The survey is based on responses from expats and identifies the best and worst countries to live a connected life. Some 18,135 expatriates took part in the survey.
Countries are ranked based on several parameters including unrestricted access to online services, ease of getting a local mobile phone number, ease of paying without cash, and ease of getting access to high-speed internet at home.
GCC expats 'unsatisfied'
Expats in the GCC region are "particularly unsatisfied" with the restricted access to online services, but the availability of online administrative or government services is rated positively in most of the states.
It receives its best rating with regard to the availability of administrative or government online services (seventh out of 68), with 84% of expats rating this positively (compared with 55% globally), adds the report.
According to news outlet Business Daily, the report placed Kenya first in Africa, well ahead of South Africa, Morocco, Uganda and Egypt, for access to high-speed internet at home and for online freedom. Almost nine in ten expats there (89%) were happy with their unrestricted access to online services, which is nine percentage points above the global average (80%).
The study says Kenya comes in fifth in the world for the ease of getting a local mobile phone number, beaten by Myanmar, New Zealand, Israel, and Estonia. Almost every expat in the country (95 percent) says it is easy, compared with 86 percent globally.