By Kieron Monks
Consumers in African countries are paying some of the highest rates in the world for internet access as a proportion of income, according to a new report.
The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) assessed 136 low and middle-income countries for their annual Affordability Report.
Middle-income examples from the report include Malaysia, Colombia, India, Jamaica, South Africa, and Ghana, while low income examples were Nepal, Mali, Haiti, Liberia, Yemen, and Mozambique.
The A4AI is an initiative of The Web Foundation, founded by inventor of the Web Tim Berners-Lee, with partner organizations that include Google and Facebook.
The A4AI defines affordability as 1GB of mobile broadband data costing no more than 2% of average monthly income. But the average across the African continent is 7.12%, and in some cases 1GB costs more than a fifth of average earnings.
Such prices are “too expensive for all but the wealthiest few,” the report states, citing cost as the primary reason why an estimated 49% of the global population remains offline.
The report authors argue that sluggish markets and monopolies are a primary cause of high prices and offer several policy prescriptions to address the issue…Read more>>