Knowledge for Development

The Internet diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis

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Date: 11/01/2011

Introduction:

Title: The Internet diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis Author: Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka and Kaushalesh Lal Source: UN University INTECH Date: 2003

This paper discusses the notions of digital inequality and digital divide to describe two levels of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). On the one hand, there is the inequality of access to the cluster of technology measured by Internet use intensity and on the other are the confluence of skills and other resources that differentiate countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using cross country data, hypotheses developed from a review of the literature are tested from which are drawn preliminary conclusions on the nature and pattern of digital access in the region. The variables are analysed through a simultaneous equation system because the high correlations ruled out the use of a single econometric model. This paper confirms the vital importance of a telecommunications infrastructure - represented by the high correlation of telephone density - with Internet use, no matter the per capita income level of a country.

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