Internet Usage Continues To Rise In Africa

Only a quarter of Africans have internet access, but the region has the most robust growth figures, according to the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU's) latest statistics.

For the first time, over half of the world's population will be utilising the Internet by the end of 2018. The ITU has found that 51.2% of the global population will be using the internet this year.

Of all ITU regions, the most substantial growth was in Africa, where the percentage of people using the internet went up from just 2.1% in 2005 to 24.4% in 2018.
According to the estimates, the regions with the least growth rates were the USA, with 69.6% and Europe, with 79.6% of the population using the Internet.

The ITU found that internet access in households is also gaining momentum, with almost 60% of homes having internet access in 2018, which is up from less than 20% in 2005. In developing countries, nearly half of all homes now have Internet access, a significant increase if compared with 8.4% in 2005.
ITU said that, globally in 2018, almost half of all homes had at least one computer, up from just over a quarter in 2005. However, in Africa, only 9.2% of homes have access to a computer, although this is an increase from the 3.6% recorded in 2005.

When it comes to mobile phone access, the ITU found that mobile access to telecoms services were becoming more prominent.
While subscriptions of fixed-telephone lines continue to decline, the number of mobile-cellular phone subscriptions is higher than the entire global population.
In the past five years, the growth in mobile-cellular subscriptions was driven by countries in the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions.
The ITU said that 96% of the world's population now lives in close proximity to a mobile-cellular network, while 90% of people globally can access the internet through a 3G or even higher quality network.

Developing countries are showing much faster growth in mobile broadband subscriptions compared to already developed countries. In developing countries, penetration rates have shot up to 61 per 100 inhabitants in 2018, with much more prospect for further growth in the coming years.

The ITU found that the most vigorous growth in mobile-broadband subscriptions has been in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Arab States.

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