The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), has disclosed that Africa is the region with the lowest Internet usage in the world with just 28.2 percent penetration out of the 87 percent of individuals online globally.

The specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies, in its recent data tagged ‘Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2019’also disclosed that Europe is the region with the highest Internet use with 82.5 percent. 

ITU believes that the barriers to Internet use, especially in the world’s Least Developed Countries are affordability and lack of digital skills. In 40 out of 84 countries for which data are available, less than half the population has basic computer skills, such as copying a file or sending an e-mail with an attachment.

“Even where connectivity exists, we need to be more creative in addressing critical issues like affordability of service, cost of handsets and lack of digital skills and literacy to enable more people – and especially women – to participate and flourish in the digital economy,” said Ms Bogdan-Martin, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.

It added that, although more data are needed, initial findings indicate a strong and a pressing need for governments to focus on measures to develop digital skills, particularly in the developing world, stressing that by the end of 2019, 57 percent of households globally will have Internet access at home.

It however, noted that, the number of households with a computer at home is only expected to rise by about one percentage point – to 49.7 percent – between 2018 and 2019, attributing the slowing growth in domestic computer ownership to the fact that in many countries, computers are no longer needed for home Internet access, with people simply connecting over smartphones.


ITPulse is a wholly information technology communication (ICT) news website, with a special focus on the African continent. The website provides up-to-date biz-tech news, analysis and comprehensive and thorough insight into the continent's ICT terrain

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