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AfricaMoney | June 29, 2017

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Africa contributes top 5 developing economies on global IT Affordability Index

Africa contributes top 5 developing economies on global IT Affordability Index

Especially commendable is the case study of Nigeria, which, within just two years of launching its National Broadband plan, has established itself at the second place globally among developing economy on the Affordability Index for the Internet. (Image: http://www.dw.de)

Across the globe, the top five developing countries taking the most effective steps towards affordable internet are all African, and this list is topped by Rwanda, Nigeria and Morocco.

Especially commendable is the case study of Nigeria, which, within just two years of launching its National Broadband plan, has seen the Western African economy establish itself at the second place globally among developing economy on the Affordability Index complied by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI).

So, where does South Africa rank of its Affordability Index? Well, it’s all the way down in 20th place with an Overall Composite Score of 43.4.

The report’s rankings, however, aren’t based on raw costs. They’re based on the “drivers” behind price, which includes scores for a country’s actions to reduce costs in the future too, including whether or not it has a powerful regulator that promotes competition, is freeing up spectrum for operators and encourages operators to work together on infrastructure.

This is how Nigeria rose to the top, leveraging the implementation of sound strategies in the telecommunication industry; fuelled by firm leadership. The strategies circled around industry regulation, broadband strategy, effective competition, efficient spectrum allocation, Universal access to rural and underserved population, and infrastructure sharing.

While Nigeria’s mobile broadband penetration rate stands at just 10% – despite the fact that close to 40% of Nigerians use the Internet – the government has put in place policies to increase this penetration level to 30% by 2018. To increase the ability of mobile operators to serve more Nigerians, plans were recently announced to auction spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band.

However, there is still much to be done in Nigeria, as in Africa overall, in order to bring the pricing down, and the A4AI notes that Latin America is leading the way for developing nations in creating reforms that will make things a little bit cheaper.

In fact, the 51 emerging and developing countries which made the ranking were also assessed on their dedication to implement policy and regulatory frameworks that are boosting the growth of the market for infrastructure and encourage the demand for broadband over the past 20 to 30 years. It should however be noted that Nigeria has only recently set sail in this direction.

Overall, this year, Costa Rica tops the global rankings, followed by Colombia, Turkey, Malaysia and Peru — all middle-income countries. Rwanda secures the top spot among developing countries, followed by Nigeria, Morocco, Uganda and Kenya.

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