Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

Africa lacks meaningful connectivity – A4AI

Article Image

In Mozambique and Rwanda, fewer than one in every fifty people in rural areas have meaningful connectivity.

That's according to a recent report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) titled: "Meaningful Connectivity for Rural Communities" which shows that African countries have a long way to go when it comes to "meaningful connectivity" for their citizens.

The A4AI definition for meaningful connectivity is: "when someone has 4G-like speeds on a smartphone they own, with a daily use of an unlimited access point at somewhere like home, work or a place of study."

To define and measure meaningful connectivity, A4AI uses four different indicators that relate to the quality and functionality of an Internet connection: a 4G connection; smartphone ownership; an unlimited broadband connection at home, work or place of study; and daily use.

The report looks specifically at the urban-rural connectivity gap in nine low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and what that means for their potential to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Out of the nine countries, six are African – Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa.

Countries surveyed in A4AI report
(Source: Alliance for Affordable Internet 2022)
(Source: Alliance for Affordable Internet 2022)

Urban-rural gap

The data shows that across all nine countries, only 10% of the total population in the countries surveyed are meaningfully connected to the Internet. That number rises to 14% in urban areas and falls to a mere 5% in rural areas.

The researchers said that the stats "should alarm policymakers" because as a share of the world's rural population, one in four people live within what is considered Least Developed Countries (LDCs) but only one of every twenty users connects from an LDC country.

Researchers found that the urban-rural gap was actually larger than expected. In urban areas, across all nine countries, almost three times as many people have meaningful connectivity than in rural areas.

The report showed that the estimated population with meaningful connectivity was the lowest in Rwanda at just 0.6%. Mozambique's meaningful connectivity reached only 3.6% of the population; Ghana was 6.5%; Kenya 10.9%; Nigeria 12.1% and South Africa was the highest at 12.8% of the population.

But once you look specifically at rural areas those numbers dropped even further: Rwanda (0.3%); Mozambique (1.5%); Ghana (2.8%); South Africa (5.7%); Kenya (6.5%); and Nigeria (6.6%).

Key meaningful connectivity (MC) estimates by country
(Source: Alliance for Affordable Internet 2022)
(Source: Alliance for Affordable Internet 2022)

Related posts:

*Top image source: Photo created by prostooleh - www.freepik.com.

Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

KaiOS targets merchant market for growth, digital inclusion

KaiOS Technologies, the creator of a mobile operating system for smart feature phones, is piloting affordable merchant payment terminals - which look like feature phones - in Africa to help underserved merchants and transport providers accept digital payments solutions.

Story

Ilara Health aims to improve quality of care in Kenya

Kenyan healthtech startup Ilara Health aspires to improve the quality of care in the country's clinics by providing equipment financing and digitizing facilities with its software.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Leadership Lessons: The importance of mentorship for career growth

By Nollie Maoto

Nollie Maoto, First Rand Group's compliance chief data and analytics officer and Africa Tech Festival Leadership Council member, reflects on the importance of mentorship for career growth for African women in data analytics.

Story

Omdia View: May 2024

By Omdia Analysts

May 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included African 5G subscriptions surpassing 5 million, growth from SpaceX's satellite Internet service Starlink, and a major fiber partnership in the Middle East and North Africa.

More Guest Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Cyber Revolution Summit
August 9, 2024
Gaborone, Botswana
Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 12-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Follow us on X

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002