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Toward Digital Inclusion: Understanding the Literacy Effect on Adoption and Use of Mobile Phones and the Internet in Africa

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Research article

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- Solutions or Strategies
- Trends

- Digital Literacy And Skills
- Internet Access, Affordability And Use

Author(s): M Deen-Swarray

Trends: Although access has generally increased across Africa, the extent of adoption and use is suboptimal. Impact/Outcome: on average, both adoption and range of ICT uses correlated with increased basic literacy. Adoption and use increased even more when English-language and/or e-skills literacy were also present. The literacy effect is more pronounced on Internet adoption than on mobile phone adoption. Solutions: Policymakers should aim to ensure that citizens acquire the necessary e-skills, in addition to basic and English literacy, to enhance their ability to participate fully in the information age. Policymakers should also provide more intensive support for public-sector, private-sector, and civil-society initiatives that generate Internet content in the widely spoken local languages


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