A report by the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, has revealed that sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of people offline out of the 3.6 billion without access to internet connection.
According to a press release accompanying its latest report, ITU data showed that while the digital gender gap has been shrinking in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe, it is growing in the Arab States, Asia-Pacific and especially in the Africa region.
It is widest in developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries, the report which highlighted the digital gender divide added.
ITU’s Measuring digital development reports are a powerful tool to better understand connectivity issues, including the growing digital gender divide, at a time when over half of the world’s population is using the Internet.
Some hard facts to look at per the report:
- Africa region has offline population of over 71% whiles whiles Europe has the lowest of 17.5%.
- Europe region has the highest Internet use (82.5 per cent), while Africa region has the lowest (28.2 per cent).
- Internet use in developed countries is nearing saturation levels, with close to 87 per cent of individuals online.
- By the end of 2019, ITU estimates that 57 per cent of households globally will have Internet access at home.
- Computers are expected to become less important to households thanks to smart phones.
- An estimated 4.1 billion people are using the Internet in 2019, reflecting a 5.3 per cent increase compared with 2018.
- Between 2005 and 2019, the number of Internet users grew on average by 10 per cent every year.
3.6 billion people around the world still lack online access.
— United Nations (UN) November 5, 2019
“ITU’s Measuring digital development reports are a powerful tool to better understand connectivity issues, including the growing digital gender divide, at a time when over half of the world’s population is using the Internet,” said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General.
“ITU statistics help policy-makers and regulators make informed policy decisions to connect the unconnected and track progress at the global level.”