After Access highlights: Using evidence from the Global South to reshape our digital future

Research ICT Africa conducted informal sector, household and individual surveys in seven African countries- Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda and Mozambique in 2017. The surveys are part of a global initiative on producing much-needed quality data on ICT access and use in the global South. RIA co-ordinated the surveys with our sister networks LIRNEasia in 6 Asian countries and DIRSI in five Latin American. The surveys provide some of the only rigorous and publicly available evidence on the status and determinants of digital inequality.

The first round of high-level findings for all three regions was launched at the Global IGF in Geneva during a roundtable discussion on the 21st of December. Based on nationally representative surveys, the findings provide not only real numbers of Internet access in the Global South but enable the disaggregation of data on the basis of sex, location, income, age and other grounds. The studies look at ‘after access’ at the intersectional challenges faced the marginalised in developing countries, providing insights into affordability, digital literacy, gender disparities, urban-rural divides, and unevenness of youth awareness and use. The findings also provide critical insights into the drivers of OTT adoption, mobile money use, the extent of online micro-work, the use of m-and e-government services and social networking as the driver of Internet take-up.

Download the presentation here.

Watch the IGF roundtable here.

NB: The underlying datasets of the After Access surveys are curated by Datafirst ( They will be made available on that portal after they have been verified through independent peer review, public engagement and publication by Research ICT Africa.  Postgraduate students wishing to use the data for thesis purposes may contact RIA for access to the data to contribute to the validation process in the first instance and of course to make their contribution to the wider body of knowledge on ICT policy and regulation