Because life is not one dimensional!

Archive for July, 2008

The Big Question – Where does Africa feature on the Internet?

So blogging will not be as easy as I had initially thought. After the initial verve, I have slowed down a bit but it is largely not due to any fault of mine. Between work and reading through the AJAX for Dummies book, I have barely had time to put my thoughts together. Anyway, I know that as long as I have White African’s spirit to see me through, I will hack! 😀

So let me pick up from where I left off last week. In general terms the big question was (and still is), where does Africa figure in the Web 2.0 revolution? I did a bit of thinking and talking with a few people and I have a feeling that I might have figured the answer to my quandary. I will try to tackle these questions one by one, post by post.

Where does Africa feature on the Internet? From a recent IPv6 conference, which I attended, it was noted with concern that Africa is largely behind a NAT. Explanation – The much touted exhaustion of IPv4 addresses has led to the widespread use of NAT on African networks, which misleads people into thinking that Africa figures no where as far as Internet traffic is concerned. This in turn has kept the big Internet companies from getting into this market since on paper they don’t see any economic sense for such ventures. In fact a quick sampling of the network registration statistics on Facebook, as highlighted below, will give you a clue on Internet usage in the wider African region.

Kenya – 53,192 Members
Nigeria – 84,191 Members
South Africa – 677,590 Members
Egypt – 469,624 Members

Do not get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we can compete with the likes of Europe when it comes to the amount of Internet traffic generated. What I am saying is that as it is, we have an Internet presence that would validate targeting the continent as an e-Commerce and e-Business destination. Ask google! They already have set camp in Nairobi and are in the process of localizing their services for local consumption.