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Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009

Africa

image of Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009

This report highlights the latest ICT developments in the region and includes key statistical information for every country. It features a regional analysis of the ITU ICT Development Index (IDI) and the ICT Price Basket, two ICT benchmarking tools that were launched in March 2009. The report points to key policy issues in the region and provides concrete recommendations for policy makers. African countries are facing a number of challenges in increasing ICT levels. They include the lack of full liberalization of markets and the limited availability of infrastructure, such as shortage of international Internet bandwidth. In addition, prices for ICT services remain very high compared to income levels and broadband Internet services are out of the reach of most Africans.

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Conclusions

During the past years, ICT developments in the African region have been characterized by high growth, and the number of mobile cellular subscriptions and Internet users has grown faster than in other regions of the world. However, Africa started out with very low ICT levels and despite rapid growth, in 2009, Africa’s ICT penetration levels are still far behind the rest of the world. Indeed, the digital divide between the African region and the rest of the world is much more pronounced than the divide within the region, with very few countries reaching ICT levels comparable to global averages.

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