While mobile penetration has grown in Africa more than in any other region in the world, broadband internet connection is getting worse, jeopardizing its development, says a new UN report launched on the 22nd of October.
To make things worse, there is also a "broadband price divide"- the cost of using fixed broadband tends to be the highest in low-income countries, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD's) publication entitled, 'Information Economy Report 2009'.
Most African nations are failing to keep up with global trends in the use of broadband internet, which is critical for meeting many economic and social development objectives.
Of the 20 countries with the world's most expensive broadband access fees, 14 are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Even within Africa, the price gap is huge. While monthly access to broadband services cost on average more than 1,300 USD in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic and Swaziland, subscribers need to pay less than 13 USD in Egypt and Tunisia. The reason for poor broadband connectivity in Africa is partly due to the lack of fixed telecommunications infrastructure, according to the report.