Afrique, internet et francophonie (The Standard Industry, 18 juin 1999),1449,5214,00.html

Selon un article -en anglais- publié dans «The Standard Industry» et signé de G.F.
For-Mukwai, le nombre d’ordinateurs hôtes en Afrique est passé de 7.800 à 10.703 en un
an (juillet 98-juillet 99), soit une croissance de 38% contre 18% en moyenne dans le monde
pour la même période. Un des facteurs clés de cette augmentation est l’appui apporté
par les organisations internationales; «notamment, de la part des organisations
francophones soucieuses de la prédominance de l’anglais sur l’internet, avec comme
résultat que les pays francophones ont un profil internet de meilleure qualité et une
meilleure connexion institutionnelle que les pays non-francophones», selon Mike Jensen,
spécialiste de la connexion africaine. (INTIF) (Liaison francophone)

Le texte en anglais :

Africa’s Internet Due for Rapid Growth

By Gideon F. For-Mukway

GABARONE, Botswana – Africa may be a late starter on the Internet but it is
currently undergoing a rapid transformation, outpacing the global average for growth in
number of host systems, according to statistics presented at a workshop on
telecommunications reform here recently.

From July 1998 to January 1999, the number of Internet hosts grew at a rate of 38
percent, from 7,800 to 10,703, while the worldwide average growth rate stood at 18
percent, said Mike Jensen of Communications Consulting, at an International
Telecommunications Union workshop.

One factor driving the growth is the assistance provided by various foreign
organizations. In particular, there is strong support from various Francophone support
agencies concerned about the dominance of English on the Internet, with the result that
French-speaking countries have a far higher Internet profile and more institutional
connectivety than non-French speaking countries, Jensen said.

Continentwide, northern and southern Africa are leading the west and east in terms of
Internet development; central Africa, Jensen said, is grossly lagging behind.

South Africa in particular is developing rapidly, with about 225,000 dial-up accounts
and hosting between 700,000 to 800,000 of Africa ‘s 1.2 million Internet users. South
Africa also has more than 70 POPs (points of presence) in both metropolitan and rural
towns, unlike most of Africa.

Also following the faster trend of development in southern Africa are Angola and
Botswana, while in the north, Egypt and Morocco are leading, with Tunisia following.

Eastern Africa’s leaders include Kenya and Uganda, while in west Africa, Senegal, Ghana
and Benin are leading the trail.Cameroon is ahead of the rest of central Africa, followed
by Gabon and then Nigeria.

The increasing use of the Internet in Nigeria may cause major changes on the continent
because it is the most populous nation, Jensen said. The country has authorized some 38
Internet service providers to operate, and out of this number, 12 are already functioning.

Internet development in Africa is constrained by poor telephone infrastructure, low
international bandwith and high dial-up tariffs levied on Internet users, according to
Jensen. This has limited Net access to mostly those with a good education or IT staffers
– more or less an elite. Access to the Internet is mostly in major cities, sidelining
the 70 percent of Africans who are rural dwellers.

Gideon F. For-Mukwai writes for the IDG
News Service.

(Le 13 septembre 1999)