Governments in Africa, internet service providers, and even some of the biggest global tech companies, are working towards the same goal to make internet access cheaper and faster. Current evidence suggests there is a long way to go as Africa ranks as the regional highest for costs and regional lowest for speeds. Boosting internet access on the continent will ultimately comprise of filling a range of gaps from undersea cables, in-country fiber optic networks and infrastructure to enabling local regulation. Just as crucial however, are local internet exchange points (IXP) where service providers and network operators exchange internet traffic. Ensuring a smoother experience for end users on the continent is crucial as smartphone penetration deepens just as participation in the digital economy grows. Africa’s ranking as the youngest continent globally (with even more population growth expected) represents growth opportunities for global tech companies that have increasingly set their eyes on winning over swathes of the hundreds of millions of potential customers expected to come online.
SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA