Internet in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, has seen significant growth in internet access in recent years. According to the International Telecommunication Union, internet penetration in Burkina Faso was only 3.7% in 2010. However, by 2020, this figure had risen to 13.3%. This growth has been driven by a combination of factors, including increased investment in infrastructure, the availability of affordable smartphones, and the expansion of mobile networks.
One of the key drivers of internet growth in Burkina Faso has been the government’s investment in infrastructure. In 2019, the government launched a project to build a fiber-optic network that would connect the country to neighboring countries and the rest of the world. This project, which is being implemented by the national telecommunications company, will provide high-speed internet access to businesses and individuals across the country. The government has also invested in the construction of internet cafes and community centers that provide free internet access to residents in rural areas.
Another factor that has contributed to the growth of internet access in Burkina Faso is the availability of affordable smartphones. In recent years, the cost of smartphones has decreased significantly, making them more accessible to people in developing countries. This has allowed more people in Burkina Faso to access the internet from their mobile devices. According to a report by GSMA, a trade association representing mobile network operators, the number of smartphone connections in Burkina Faso increased from 1.7 million in 2015 to 6.4 million in 2020.
The expansion of mobile networks has also played a significant role in the growth of internet access in Burkina Faso. Mobile network operators have invested heavily in expanding their networks to reach more people in rural areas. This has allowed more people to access the internet from their mobile devices, even in areas where fixed-line internet infrastructure is not available. According to the same GSMA report, the number of mobile internet connections in Burkina Faso increased from 2.7 million in 2015 to 9.2 million in 2020.
Despite the growth in internet access, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. One of the biggest challenges is the cost of internet access. While the cost of smartphones has decreased, the cost of data remains high, making it difficult for many people to afford internet access. This is particularly true for people in rural areas, where incomes are lower and internet infrastructure is less developed.
Another challenge is the lack of digital literacy. Many people in Burkina Faso are still not familiar with how to use the internet or the benefits it can provide. This limits the potential for the internet to drive economic growth and improve people’s lives. To address this challenge, the government and other organizations have launched initiatives to promote digital literacy and provide training to people in rural areas.
In conclusion, the growth of internet access in Burkina Faso has been significant in recent years, driven by increased investment in infrastructure, the availability of affordable smartphones, and the expansion of mobile networks. While there are still challenges that need to be addressed, the growth of internet access has the potential to drive economic growth and improve people’s lives in Burkina Faso.