>Subject: [GKD] Africa's Internet Due for Rapid Growth (fwd)
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>[***Moderator's note: The following report, originally posted on the GKP
>List, will be of interest to GKD members.***]
>Here is a review and a detailed map site of internet usage in each
>Africa's Internet Due for Rapid Growth
>By Gideon F. For-Mukwai
>GABARONE, Botswana - Africa may be a late starter on the Internet but it
>is currently undergoing a rapid transformation, outpacing the global
>average for growth in number of host systems, according to statistics
>presented at a workshop on telecommunications reform here recently.
> From July 1998 to January 1999, the number of Internet hosts grew at a
>rate of 38 percent, from 7,800 to 10,703, while the worldwide average
>growth rate stood at 18 percent, said Mike Jensen of Communications
>Consulting, at an International Telecommunications Union workshop.
>One factor driving the growth is the assistance provided by various
>foreign organizations. In particular, there is strong support from
>various Francophone support agencies concerned about the dominance of
>English on the Internet, with the result that French-speaking countries
>have a far higher Internet profile and more institutional connectivety
>than non-French speaking countries, Jensen said.
>Continentwide, northern and southern Africa are leading the west and
>east in terms of Internet development; central Africa, Jensen said, is
>grossly lagging behind.
>South Africa in particular is developing rapidly, with about 225,000
>dial-up accounts and hosting between 700,000 to 800,000 of Africa 's 1.2
>million Internet users. South Africa also has more than 70 POPs (points
>of presence) in both metropolitan and rural towns, unlike most of
>Also following the faster trend of development in southern Africa are
>Angola and Botswana, while in the north, Egypt and Morocco are leading,
>with Tunisia following.
>Eastern Africa's leaders include Kenya and Uganda, while in west Africa,
>Senegal, Ghana and Benin are leading the trail. Cameroon is ahead of the
>rest of central Africa, followed by Gabon and then Nigeria.
>The increasing use of the Internet in Nigeria may cause major changes on
>the continent because it is the most populous nation, Jensen said. The
>country has authorized some 38 Internet service providers to operate,
>and out of this number, 12 are already functioning.
>Internet development in Africa is constrained by poor telephone
>infrastructure, low international bandwith and high dial-up tariffs
>levied on Internet users, according to Jensen. This has limited Net
>access to mostly those with a good education or IT staffers - more or
>less an elite. Access to the Internet is mostly in major cities,
>sidelining the 70 percent of Africans who are rural dwellers.
>Gideon F. For-Mukwai
Patrick O'Beirne B.Sc. M.A. FICS. IT Systems Consultant
http://www.sysmod.com Tel: +353 (0)55 22294 Fax: 055 22297
Systems Modelling Ltd, Tara Hill, Gorey, Co. Wexford, IRELAND