Gabon, a country located in Central Africa, has seen a significant growth in internet penetration in recent years. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the percentage of individuals using the internet in Gabon has increased from 6.5% in 2010 to 23.5% in 2019. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including government initiatives, increased investment in infrastructure, and the rise of mobile technology.
One of the key drivers of internet growth in Gabon has been the government’s commitment to expanding access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). In 2013, the government launched the Gabon Digital 2020 program, which aims to make Gabon a hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurship. As part of this program, the government has invested in building new ICT infrastructure, such as fiber optic networks and data centers, to improve internet connectivity across the country.
In addition to government initiatives, increased investment in ICT infrastructure by private companies has also contributed to the growth of internet penetration in Gabon. For example, in 2018, Gabon Telecom, the country’s largest telecommunications provider, announced plans to invest over $100 million in expanding its network infrastructure and improving internet speeds. This investment has helped to make internet access more affordable and accessible to a wider range of people in Gabon.
Another factor driving internet growth in Gabon is the rise of mobile technology. Mobile phones are the primary means of accessing the internet for many people in Gabon, particularly in rural areas where fixed-line infrastructure is limited. According to the ITU, mobile broadband subscriptions in Gabon increased from 4.4% in 2010 to 21.2% in 2019. This growth has been facilitated by the expansion of 3G and 4G networks across the country, as well as the availability of affordable smartphones.
Despite these positive developments, there are still challenges to be addressed in expanding internet access in Gabon. One of the main barriers is the high cost of internet services, which can be prohibitively expensive for many people, particularly those living in poverty. In addition, there are concerns about the quality and reliability of internet services, particularly in rural areas where infrastructure is less developed.
To address these challenges, the government and private sector stakeholders in Gabon are working to develop new strategies for expanding internet access and improving the quality of services. For example, the government has launched a program to provide subsidies for low-income households to access internet services, while private companies are investing in new technologies such as satellite internet to reach remote areas.
Overall, the growth of internet penetration in Gabon is a positive development that has the potential to drive economic growth and improve social outcomes. However, there is still work to be done to ensure that all Gabonese citizens have access to affordable, reliable internet services. By continuing to invest in infrastructure and develop innovative solutions, Gabon can continue to build a thriving digital economy that benefits all its citizens.