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SADC not bridging digital divide

Type of Resource:
Policy brief

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- Challenges
- Solutions or Strategies
- Trends

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

Author(s): ResearchICTAfrica

The Seychelles leads internet penetration in the region at 56.5% while Madagascar trails at 4.2% according to ITU statistics. Seychelles, together with Zimbabwe and Swaziland are the most expensive countries for 1GB of prepaid mobile data in the region. Demand-side challenges such as literacy, affordability, and poor coverage are some of the obstacles to internet uptake. There is a need for demand- and supply-side evidence to determine the best response to challenges faced in the region. Policy interventions to reduce the cost of Internet connectivity include: devising regulatory mechanisms that ensure service-based competition through access to wholesale networks, such as better enforced infrastructure sharing and facility-leasing arrangements; Undertaking necessary market reviews or any other legal preconditions to conduct conducting studies into market dominance and anti-competitive practices, including their impact on prices; relieving rollout bottlenecks that affect pricing ,such as spectrum assignment; and prioritising the rolling out of public Wi-Fi in all public buildings especially in the rural areas to connecting the unconnected and to provide complementary access to high cost paid services.


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