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Africa Edition Overview

Africa is home to approximately 1,073,380,9251 people, spread over some 11,608,000 mi2.2  The continent of Africa is the second-largest land mass and has the second highest number of people after Asia.  Internet users as of June, 2012, stood at 167,335,676, or 15.6% of the population.3  The region had 51,612,460 Facebook users as at December, 2012.4

In Q4 of 2011 the total number of mobile subscribers in Africa was approximately 641,393,000 and in Q4 of 2012 the total was approximately 745,869,000, a year-on-year increase of 16.29%.5  This figure includes both contract and pre-paid connections.

A significant organization within the region is AICTO, the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization.  Founded in 2001, with its headquarters in Tunis, Tunisia, AICTO works on several fronts to promote common strategies, policies and best practice for ICT development throughout the Arab region, as well as promoting investment in the region.  AICTO’s working group on e-Certification and Cybersecurity (WG3) is working towards launching projects which deal with such topics as e-Government, e-learning and information and computer security.  With a membership of 20 Arab states across the Middle East and Africa, AICTO aims to coordinate members’ positions in terms of standards and the preparation of policies and guidelines which relate to ICT development.  To find out more go to

Africa has four regional Internet Governance Forums (IGF) as well as country-based ones for Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.  The Central Africa IGF (IGF-CA) met in May of 2012 in Douala, Cameroon.  To learn more about the IGF-CA go to  The East Africa IGF (EAIGF) held its fifth meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, in July of 2012.  To learn more go to   The West Africa IGF is holding its 2013 conference in Côte d’Ivoire from July 3 – 5, 2013.  To find out more go to  

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held its sixth annual conference in September, 2011, in Nairobi.  The theme of the conference was ‘Internet as a catalyst for change: access, development, freedoms and innovation’.  To find out more about the content of the day, for transcripts and other information go to

Celebrate Digital Africa!To mark Safer Internet Day 2013, FOSI's GRID has published an exciting new ‘Celebrate Digital Africa!’ infographic fact sheet highlighting key statistics and online safety initiatives. In addition, throughout February we have invited a number of prominent African experts and influencers to blog about the challenges and opportunities. So giving an authentic voice to those that live and work in Africa. Fostering collaboration and sharing best practice in this new digital frontier.

Click here to view the PDF fact sheet

If you have content which you feel should be added to this edition, please click the e-mail icon at the top of the page to notify our Editorial Team.

Effective Measures, Spotlight PR, (2010). Media Consumption and Habits of MENA Internet Users. Whilst not detailing the habits of children specifically, 29% of the 2,500 respondents fall in the fifteen to 20 years age-range. The survey gives details as to the nature of activities undertaken by respondents, with a gender split so that differences between males and females can be noted. To read the research in full go to

GSMA Development Fund, (2010). Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity. A study on the mobile phone gender gap in low and middle-income countries. This report identifies the gender gap for mobile phone ownership in such countries, the benefits that can be achieved by changing attitudes and makes recommendations as to next steps. To read the report in full go to



Page last reviewed April 15, 2013

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5 (last accessed April 15, 2013)



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