Extraordinary Internet growth throughout Africa
Over the last 10 years Africa’s internet growth and progress has been extraordinary amounting to a percentage of 2 000 with the global average merely amounting to a percentage of 480. This internet growth in Africa is largely because of recent information technology (IT) developments in Africa. All of this was achieved even though Internet penetration on the African continent being relatively low compared to the developed world, with an estimated 120-million users. A lot of the internet growth across Africa has a lot to with the IT infrastructure developments, such as cable systems in East Africa.
Mature markets in Africa such as South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Egypt, were experiencing the most growth. So what can we expect from Africa in the near future regarding Internet growth? Professionals and researchers say that Africa’s internet growth will reveal close to double-digits in the more mature markets over the next couple of years. This is said to be because of the new undersea cables and terrestrial fibre roll-out, as well as the satellite influx across Africa.
Last year, the undersea fibre-optic cable network operator, Seacom upgraded its East African submarine cable in order to increase capacity to meet the rising demand.
Looking into the future researchers say that, over the next two years initiatives that would connect West Africa will rise in numbers, increasing the international bandwidth by triple digits. This infrastructure boost will lead to an increase in consumer and enterprise demand for broadband.
Further, researchers predict that the improved connectivity in 2012 will boost the data business sector in Africa, creating jobs and faster return on investment. The prediction of further price drops during the year is another encouragement for the continent. Last year, the use of data services in South Africa grew by 28% and it is believed that in the next two to three years, it will grow by up to 60%.