| November 25, 2017

ADDIS ABABA-- Internet availability and accessibility has shown progress across Africa, according to Promoting the African Internet Economy Report released here.

The report, hoeevr, shows that Internet penetration and usage varies widely across Africa with urban areas generally having higher Internet penetration rates. As of 2017, some 388 million of the continent's 1.25 billion people are online, with 160 million holding Facebook accounts.

Accessibility of the Internet is specially growing in mobile broadband, the availability exceeding subscription, with almost 60 per cent of the population living in the range of a 3G or a 4G mobile broadband signal, the report states.

Furthermore, 2G mobile cellular signals cover almost 90 per cent of the population, and these networks can be relatively easily updated to offer mobile broadband. The report says this level of Internet access represents significant progress, supporting the growth of the Internet economy.

The report adds that there have been further successes within countries in developing online platforms, fostering the growth of companies to serve local demand and increasing the incentive to go online.

The Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for the Internet Society, Dawit Bekele, says the African Internet is doing rather well and about a thurd of the continent's people are connected with the Internet.

The internet economy in the continent is allso showing some successful progresses such as in the introduction og Mobile money, innovation hubs employment platforms, and ICT platform, he adds.

However, although Internet availability and accessibility have been growing, connectivity is by no means universal and an average of only 21.8 per cent of individuals are online in the continent and this leaves significant work to be done to bring more peoples online.

He called on policy makers to focus on the internet sector to ensure that all users and organizations can go online, with good quality access that is affordable and supported by the online skills training.


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