East Africa

Affordability is holding back internet penetration in Africa

KojoThe Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is the world’s broadest technology sector coalition. They want everyone, everywhere, to be able to access the life-changing power of the Internet affordably especially here in Africa.

Speaking at the first day of  Mobile West Africa 2015 this morning in Lagos, Kojo Boakye who manages policy research, development and implementation across all of A4AI’s member countries explained “our goal is to achieve the UN Broadband Commission target of entry-level broadband priced at less than 5% of monthly income, thereby enabling billions more people to come online”. Only 17% of Ghanaian’s use the internet and that’s in urban areas, this is mainly due to the fact that it is too expensive to access data.

He explains there are five pillars to create internet affordability. These include healthy competition, infrastructure sharing, non discriminatory access, universal access to rural and undeserved populations, effective broadband strategies. Leadership underpins all of the above

A4AI’s Affordability Report takes a look at internet across 51 countries. It looks at access to internet and cost, with many countries in Africa well outside UN targets of paying 5% of average income. Costs in some African countries to access the internet at 11%. Boakye explains that “2 billion people living in poverty can’t access the internet.” Nigeria has risen form 19 to 11 because it has taken many steps to improve access to internet but a lot more to do.



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