Why Africa needs to plug the connectivity gap
By admin July 29, 2016

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The UN first classified the list of countries as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in 1971 at the general assembly in effort to assist them with special measures for effectiveness and efficiency. In 2016, among the 48 LDCs, 34 of them are located in Sub-Saharan region of Africa. There are 54 sovereign nations in Africa as a whole, and 49 are considered as Sub-Saharan Africa. In other words, about 70 percent of LDCs are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the Mobile Economy of Africa 2016 from Groupe Spécial Mobile Association (GSMA), in Africa, about 557 million people are mobile users with 46percent of the penetration rate. Despite its comparably high penetration rate (50 percent worldwide), the third of the 557 million users are concentrated in Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa with 15 percent, 10 percent, and 7 percent respectively. The penetration rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest at 39 percent.

Given the facts that Africa has such a low mobile penetration rate, with low Gross National Product (GNP), that it’s not a surprise 34 out of 54 countries are categorized as less developed countries. As stated by the Head of Mobile for Development at GSMA, there are huge connectivity gaps between urban dwellers and the rural dwellers. According to an article from AllAfrica, in contributing to the mobile infrastructure, carrying out mobile tax reforms and advancing Internet, Communication and Technology (ICT) advancement is significant as studies show enormous impacts in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Tanzania and Tunisia. But more importantly, it is necessary to train the community to help them understand the benefits and opportunities of being online and promote skills to use the Internet. At the same time the role of providers and government is equally essential because people with lower income who face difficulties affording the mobile service are not going to use it and will be left behind from the digital revolution. Digitalization in these days is as importantly treated as other infrastructures such as roads, bridges, and canals. Therefore, it is not abnormal for governments invest in them for the good of the citizens.

Africa has gone through a lot of difficulties and still economically left behind from other regions of the Earth. However, Africa has the youngest population in the world and with the investment in ICT technology, what Africa is capable of will be enormous. It is likely that as a result of the digital inclusion, a lot of incidents caused by government inefficiency and corruption will also be much alleviated. And with such powerful infrastructure, it will make investors to tackle in more likely.

For more information:


The long haul: Digitalization in Africa

The Mobile Economy Africa 2016, GSMA

The Mobile Economy 2016, GSMA

According To GSMA’s Mobile Economy Report, Africa Has ~557 Million Mobile Users

African Governments Tasked On Digital Inclusion

The young continent

Thanks for sharing !

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