Internet in Djibouti has come a long way since its inception. The country, located in the Horn of Africa, has seen a significant increase in internet penetration over the years. However, this was not always the case.
The history of internet in Djibouti dates back to the early 1990s when the country was still under French rule. At the time, the internet was only accessible to a select few, mainly government officials and foreign diplomats. It was not until the early 2000s that the internet became more widely available to the general public.
In 2001, Djibouti Telecom, the country’s sole telecommunications provider, launched its first internet service. The service was slow and expensive, making it inaccessible to most of the population. However, it was a significant step towards the democratization of the internet in Djibouti.
Over the years, Djibouti Telecom has made significant investments in its telecommunications infrastructure, including the laying of fiber optic cables. These investments have led to a significant improvement in internet speeds and a reduction in the cost of internet services.
In 2009, Djibouti became the first country in the region to connect to the SEACOM undersea cable, which provides high-speed internet connectivity to East and Southern Africa. This connection has significantly improved internet speeds and reduced the cost of internet services in Djibouti.
In 2018, Djibouti Telecom launched its 4G LTE mobile network, which provides high-speed internet connectivity to mobile devices. This network has significantly improved internet access in the country, particularly in rural areas where fixed-line internet services are not available.
Despite these significant improvements, internet penetration in Djibouti remains low. According to the International Telecommunication Union, only 12.3% of the population had access to the internet in 2019. This is significantly lower than the global average of 53.6%.
One of the main reasons for the low internet penetration in Djibouti is the high cost of internet services. Internet services in Djibouti are among the most expensive in the world, making them inaccessible to most of the population. This is particularly true for those living in rural areas, where the cost of internet services is even higher.
Another factor contributing to the low internet penetration in Djibouti is the lack of digital literacy among the population. Many people in Djibouti are not familiar with the internet and its uses, making them hesitant to adopt it. This is particularly true for older generations who did not grow up with the internet.
To address these challenges, the government of Djibouti has launched several initiatives aimed at increasing internet penetration in the country. These initiatives include the establishment of community internet centers, the provision of subsidized internet services to schools and universities, and the implementation of digital literacy programs.
In conclusion, the history of internet in Djibouti is one of progress and innovation. While significant improvements have been made in recent years, there is still a long way to go to ensure that all citizens have access to affordable and reliable internet services. The government of Djibouti must continue to invest in its telecommunications infrastructure and digital literacy programs to ensure that the benefits of the internet are accessible to all.