Poor infrastructure causes Africa to 'lag behind with internet access'

26 October 2009

Africa's poor telecommunications infrastructure means it is lagging behind the rest of the world with regards to broadband internet access.

A study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) - entitled Information Economy Report 2009: Trends and Outlook in Turbulent Times - found that mobile phone subscriptions have grown faster in the continent since 2003 than any other region across the globe.

There are ten times as many mobile subscriptions as fixed lines in Africa, but the nation is failing to keep up with trends of broadband internet - which the organisation behind the research said is vital for social and economic growth.

"This is partly due to the lack of fixed telecommunications infrastructure," the report stated. "Most other developing regions boast a broadband penetration ten times higher than Africa's."

In order to alleviate infrastructure bottlenecks, ways to roll out broadband in areas with low connectivity need to be established and implemented, it concluded.

UNCTAD was founded in 1964 and aims to help developing countries integrate into the world economy.

Category: ICT

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