WinterABC

#WinterABC Day 10: The internet in Africa; Affordability, Availability and Accountability

It is particularly challenging to lump all countries on this huge continent and describe as one. For this challenge in particular, I will stick to Ghana because that’s what I am familiar with.

When I first heard about the internet, I was being introduced to something called email. I heard it was free to create an account, I could send a letter with the recipient receiving it instantly. Huh? For real? Yes, in a single click of a button, my message would be read and I could receive a reply almost immediately. This sounded like good stuff.

Affordability

Back then, I had a ‘yam’. My ever faithful, Nokia 1100. It didn’t have internet access so I had to resort to using an internet cafe. For ₵1000 (GHS10), I could browse the internet for 1 hour in that dingy cafe at Awoshie Abrantie, or the one at Lapaz where the old New Town Station was, or pay a little more for the one at Kwashieman opposite the current Kaneshie/Korlebu station. Internet was expensive and often too slow in these places. If I needed to do something urgently, Busy internet was my best bet. 

The internet in Ghana is still expensive. Whether I use the data on my mobile network or use a mifi/dongle from any of the internet service providers, like Surfline the data runs out in the blink of an eye.  

Small, medium and large scale companies in Ghana pay huge sums of money to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for dedicated internet to effectively run their businesses. 

 

Availabilty

Internet access is better, faster and in most of the big cities I have been to in Ghana, but not in my little Agotime Akpokofe village. See you have to walk from the house to the main road when the communal tap is or to the coconut tree behind the house and stand on the mound of sand heaped next to it. Depending on the mobile network you’re on, one of the spots will suit your needs. Forget about accessing any picture or video dependent site. It won’t work. Did I mention that my phone was often on Edge in my Awoshie home when 3G was the “ish?”

 

Accountability

I am not exactly sure what goes for accountability but I will be sure to update this once I find any info on this. Or if you would like to share your opinion on this, comment below or send me a write up.

 

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