Internet across the African continent, has and continues to, undergo a real transformative journey. The potential to connect millions in Africa is enormous and will likely change lives and as well as entire societies in regions that were previously isolated and disconnected. Ten years ago, during the period from around 2005-2010, internet was growing faster in Africa than in any other region of the world, and although growth has slowed somewhat in the years from 2010-2015, it still remains higher than in other regions of the world. One obvious reason for this is that it is easier to grow from a lower base than it is to grow from a higher base.
Currently, there exists a clear digital divide within the African region. Internet penetration rates, defined as the percentage of the population who are internet users range wildly from a mere 14% in Malawi all the way to 64% in Mauritius (2018). This is a result of a conflation of different factors such as access to basic infrastructure like electricity as well as the options service providers make available, which unfortunately, remains very limited in some regions. The costs of bandwidth are also similarly very prohibitive for many African users. The lack of connectivity is astounding given that much of the network traffic routed in Africa is actually routed from servers that are located elsewhere (mainly in Europe). Scarcity of the overall bandwidth has also forced some users to go through satellites which is very expensive. If we combine this fact with the low number of Internet hosts on the African continent versus other regions of the world, we can understand why African Internet users lag behind the rest of the world.
The picture is not all gloomy. Real progress can be achieved and has been achieved in the past. Going forward the remaining task concerns the achievement of further progress. To address the low rates of internet connectivity and to fix the last mile problem; final leg of the telecommunications networks that allow us to deliver services to customers. Large infrastructural programs have been undertaken and others are under way to develop the cable system in the Indian Ocean. These include EASS (East African Submarine cable System) connecting South Africa and Sudan to several countries on the eastern coast of Africa, TEAMS (The East Africa Marine System), as well SEACOM, which is driven completely from Africa.
Rogers Capital is also contributing to make connection in Africa a reality. Through our Managed Datacomm Services we offer internet access and connectivity to remote offices in a private, secure and guaranteed way. Managed Datacomm Services is a One-Stop-Shop for all connectivity and managed security requirements. Businesses benefit from strong Service Level Agreements and a 24x7x365 proactively managed service. Our services include best effort broadband, dedicated Internet access, Wide Area Network (WAN), International Private Leased Circuits (IPLC/MPLS), Network Operations Center as a Service (NOCaaS), Managed Wi-Fi, and fiber optic solutions.