Costly ‘Internet’- The Story of Africa

African family watching television together

African family watching television together

Consumers in Africa are charged with the highest rates for internet access. A significant chunk of the income is absorbed for internet access and its use. A4A1, an initiative of the Web Foundation, identifies internet data as affordable when it takes 2 percent of income for 1 GB. As for Africans, it is around 7.12 percent, and in some cases, it is more than one-fifth of average income. Only a few wealthy people can afford the price. The cost of internet is a reason why around 49 percent of the global population is offline.

Lack of Competition or Poor Economy Lack of Competition or Poor Economy

Internet in Africa suffers from a lower penetration rate compared to other countries. Africa exhibits an inner digital divide. The telecommunication industry is packed with outdated technology. Broadband wireless technology is yet to hit the market, which can make the internet available to the population at large. Lack of penetration of internet, proper initiative of Government to bring up projects to fuel the internet has affected the cost. Political lobbies in countries like Cameroon and Egypt have restricted citizen from internet use.

A4AI’s policy prescription recommends taking help from global services for developing infrastructure.

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