Oman's new generation sees great potential in online trade [Times of Oman]
(Times of Oman Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Muscat: Speed of Internet service and coverage take precedence over value for money for Omani youth in selecting their telecom operator, a new study has revealed.
The extensive new online survey, 'New Horizons: Young, Arab and Connected', was commissioned by Ooredoo to provide a snapshot of the digital attitudes and aspirations of young people across the Middle East and North Africa.
Surveying more than 10,500 young adults in 17 countries across the region, including 118 digitally connected youth in Oman, it is one of the most in-depth research projects on the subject yet undertaken, conducted during a period of intense social and political change.
When Omani youth were asked about what is particularly important to them when selecting a telecom operator, they had greatest consensus on speed of Internet service (83%), geographic signal coverage (77%) and value for money (69%).
More Omani youth feel that restrictions on social media are about at the correct level, compared to restrictions on viewing certain websites or using Voip, services such as Skype.
Those who feel restrictions on using social media are about right comprised 62% of respondents, whereas those who feel that restrictions on viewing certain websites and using Voip are about right were only 45% and 24% of respondents, respectively.
About 62% of Omani youth believe there are good options for small businesses and entrepreneurs; 52% of Omani youth intend to start an online business and 11% have already started an online business.
While 34% of Omani youth make purchases online, a nearly equal portion (32%) intends to purchase online in the future.
Meanwhile, eight of 10 young people in the MENA region are optimistic about their prospects in the coming year, although 45 percent of employed young people are not working in the fields they would like to, according to a new study published today. Communication techThe findings provide important insights into the hopes of young people in the region today, and in particular, underline the extent to which they are focused on the potential of communication technology to drive human growth and social development.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo, said "Young people in the MENA region have embraced technology as a means to transform their lives. What this research shows is that young people remain optimistic, despite the challenges they face, and they are using technology to proactively seek out new opportunities for self-development.
"Companies, governments and organisations need to recognise this creative spark, and find ways to nurture it, so that we receive the full benefit of young people's contributions to our societies."
Greg Young, CEO of Nawras in Oman, said: "In Oman, we are committed to supporting and stimulating human growth in the communities where we operate. We believe ICT has an important role in helping the country's young people realise their full economic potential and this research provides valuable insights for identifying opportunities to help them do so."
In spite of the well-publicised challenges that MENA has faced in recent years, the research suggests that a community of digitally active young adults is forging a 'connected path' to greater opportunity, understanding and equality via technology.
In total, 91% of respondents agree that 'technology is the basis of a modern, forward-thinking and functioning society' and 89% believing that 'technology opens up communication channels to promote peace and understanding'.
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