Reasons for slow internet growth in Africa disclosedFrom ALLOYCE KIMBUNGA in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
DAR ES SALAAM, (CAJ News) – WHILE significant improvements have been made in Internet infrastructure, most notably in mobile networks, internet adoption rates are slowing in many countries because users lack compelling reasons to connect.
This is according to a study by Internet Society, released at the African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) ending Thursday in Tanzania.
According to the study, content and services are the main factors in making the Internet desirable, especially when the subject matter is relevant and in a language that users can easily understand.
A lack of local content and services is affecting the number of new online users in Africa.
In Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, local language content is key to bringing new users online, as many are not comfortable reading in English or French.
The study, “Promoting Content in Africa” outlines the barriers to the development of local content and offers recommendations to improve local content availability and distribution.
In the Sub-Saharan countries studied by the Internet Society, the majority of international and locally developed content is hosted outside the country, typically overseas.
This results in slow internet speeds and higher access costs.
Removing barriers to content availability and distribution will have significant impacts on the Internet ecosystem in Africa, Dawit Bekele, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa, said.
“It will help to make existing international content more accessible,” Bekele said.
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