“Mobile technology is key to connecting unconnected Africans”
Market research has shown that in terms of internet penetration rates, not only is Africa lagging behind its global counterparts, but there are still stark gaps between countries on the continent.
Mr. Kegan Peffer, Managing Director of tech start-up Adoozy Power, said that according to the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), more than 520 million Africans will be connected to the internet by 2021, or 40 % of all. Africans, considerably less than world standards.
Additionally, Peffer said Statista reported in January this year that Morocco enjoys the highest internet penetration with 84.1% of its population connected, while at the other end of the scale, only 7.1% of the population of the Central African Republic can access the Internet.
Only two sub-Saharan countries feature in the top five – Seychelles with a penetration rate of 79% and South Africa with 68.2% of its population connected.
“What is striking, however, is that in 2021 over 60% of South Africans accessed the internet using mobile devices,” Peffer said.
“Given the affordability and accessibility of mobile devices, this is not surprising. However, we must also consider that mobile is leading the way due to consumers’ ever-increasing need to connect, work and transact on the go.
“Mobile technologies have the most critical role to play in connecting the unconnected. On a continent where 77% of the population is under 35, the needs and preferences of digital native generations, who cannot be separated from their phones, will ensure the continued dominance of mobile internet penetration.
The leader of Adoozy Power added that, as Africa’s pioneering FinTech solutions have already proven, there is unlimited potential to solve intractable socio-economic problems.
The continent also has an opportunity to skip costly infrastructure development and start providing services and products to non-consumers. But it all depends on connectivity, Peffer added.
He explained the link between the issue of Africa’s connectivity and World Wi-Fi Day.
“Connecting the unconnected is the charter of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, which recently celebrated World Wi-Fi Day.
This global initiative brings together countries and cities, government agencies and Big Tech, as well as fixed and mobile operators and technology solution providers to bridge the digital divide, increase access to affordable internet and provide a digital ecosystem. robust to support connected governments, businesses and enterprises. consumers,” he added.
Peffer continued, “World Wi-Fi Day reminds us of the transformative power of digital and how it shapes modern work and play. Our lives are in motion – students sit in the public park and participate in their “university tutorials”; we consult our telehealth practitioner en route to a business meeting; we increasingly shop online from anywhere, consume media while we’re on the go, and make reservations whenever it suits us. Every year, millions more Africans go online with new mobile devices that are quickly becoming essential.