Internet Society has released a report, co-authored by Towela Nyirenda-Jere and Tesfaye Biru, presented at the African Internet Summit 2015 in Tunis at the beginning of June, titled “Internet development and Internet governance in Africa”.

According to the report, Internet penetration levels are on the rise in the African continent (from 0.78 percent in 2001 to about 20 percent as of 2014 with mobile broadband access accounting for more than 90 percent of Internet subscriptions). Therefore, the penetration gap between Europe and Africa has been reduced from almost 19 to only 3 times higher.

Despite these achievements, the Internet Society report indicates that the penetration levels among countries in the continent still vary widely with countries such as Morocco enjoying penetration rates of over 50 percent with a majority others recording rates as low as 2 percent which is a far cry from the recommended 20 percent rate for economic production. It is also stated that Internet costs for mean users in the continent remain considerably high with users paying 30 or 40 times more for Internet access than their counterparts in developed countries.

In Africa, despite a slow start, Internet use is now rapidly accelerating, and its transformative effects are increasingly accessible. The great efforts being made by governments and Regional Research and Education Networks such as the UbuntuNet Alliance, WACREN and ASREN in trying to improve Internet connectivity in Africa seem to be paying off but there are still many steps to be taken.

To this regard, TANDEM project’s scope is to promote cooperation by exploiting the interconnection between the European research and educational network (GÉANT) and the established African regional networks and prepare WACREN in the deployment of e-infrastructures answering End User’s needs and taking into account policy, financial, regulatory and technical constraints. In this way, TANDEM aims to support dialogue between the EU and African Research and Educational Networks, with special attention to Western and Central Africa region.

To download the report, click here.

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