Summary of Can the Internet Reboot Africa?

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Africans are getting better connected. In 2015, the continent had 226 million smartphone users, and forecasts show that by 2020 that number will more than triple to 720 million. This leap forward in connectivity will open doors for businesses, schools, hospitals and public administration. Journalists Mark Rice-Oxley and Zoe Flood take an in-depth look at the changing landscape of African technology and assess the challenges Africans will have to overcome if they’re going to thrive in the new “Internet revolution.” getAbstract recommends this detailed analysis to entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers on the African continent.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What barriers Africa faces in access to technology,
  • What economic benefits Africa stands to gain from upgrading Internet connectivity and
  • What areas Africans must improve to realize the full potential of their “Internet revolution.”

About the Authors

Mark Rice-Oxley is The Guardian’s head of special projects. Zoe Flood is a freelance, multimedia journalist based between Nairobi and London, covering security, human rights, and economic and social issues.



In Africa, it is possible to live in an area where no one in your neighborhood has a landline or bank account, but nearly everyone has a cellphone. In fact, large parts of the continent are simply skipping over technology that is rapidly becoming obsolete elsewhere. However, there are still necessary services – such as grid electricity – that countless Africans continue to go without. Approximately 77% of sub-Saharan Africans have no access to reliable power. According to Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, electricity is the number one issue “holding back Africa...

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