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Internet diffusion in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis


  • Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji
  • Lal, Kaushalesh


In this paper, the notions of digital inequality and digital divide have been employed to describe two levels of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) access. On the one hand is the inequality of access to the cluster of technology measured by Internet use and on the other are the confluence of skills and other resources that differentiate countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Using cross-country data, hypotheses are tested within a simultaneous equation system. The paper confirms the vital importance of telecommunications infrastructure represented by the high correlation of telephone density with Internet irrespective of per capita income level of the country.

Suggested Citation

  • Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji & Lal, Kaushalesh, 2005. "Internet diffusion in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 507-527, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:29:y:2005:i:7:p:507-527

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Madden, Gary & Coble-Neal, Grant & Dalzell, Brian, 2004. "A dynamic model of mobile telephony subscription incorporating a network effect," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 133-144, March.
    2. Liikanen, Jukka & Stoneman, Paul & Toivanen, Otto, 2004. "Intergenerational effects in the diffusion of new technology: the case of mobile phones," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1137-1154, November.
    3. Abid A. Burki & Shirin Aslam, 2000. "The Role of Digital Technology and Regulations in the Diffusion of Mobile Phones in Asia," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 39(4), pages 741-750.
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    5. Kiiski, Sampsa & Pohjola, Matti, 2002. "Cross-country diffusion of the Internet," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 297-310, June.
    6. Ahn, Hyungtaik & Lee, Myeong-Ho, 1999. "An econometric analysis of the demand for access to mobile telephone networks," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 297-305, September.
    7. Heli Koski & Tobias Kretschmer, 2004. "Entry, Standards and Competition: Firm Strategies and the Diffusion of Mobile Telephony," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 26(1), pages 89-113, November.
    8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    9. Gruber, Harald & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "The diffusion of mobile telecommunications services in the European Union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 577-588, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Menzie D. Chinn & Robert W. Fairlie, 2007. "The determinants of the global digital divide: a cross-country analysis of computer and internet penetration," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 16-44, January.
    2. PENARD Thierry & POUSSING Nicolas & MUKOKO Blaise & TAMOKWE Georges Bertrand, 2013. "Internet adoption and usage patterns in Africa: Evidence from Cameroon," LISER Working Paper Series 2013-22, LISER.
    3. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Pablo Selaya, 2008. "On the Impact of Digital Technologies on Corruption: Evidence from U.S. States and Across Countries," Discussion Papers 08-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    4. Boladale Abiola Adebowale & Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, 2012. "University-Industry Collaboration as a Determinant of Innovation in Nigeria," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 4(1), pages 21-46, April.
    5. Nour, Samia, 2011. "The Use and Economic Impacts of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Sudan," MERIT Working Papers 060, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Sarkar, Avijit & Pick, James B. & Johnson, Jeremy, 2015. "Africa's digital divide: Geography, policy, and implications," 2015 Regional ITS Conference, Los Angeles 2015 146339, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    7. Thierry PENARD & Nicolas POUSSING & Gabriel ZOMO YEBE & Philémon NSI ELLA, 2012. "Comparing the Determinants of Internet and Cell Phone Use in Africa: Evidence from Gabon," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(86), pages 65-83, 2nd quart.
    8. Simone CASCHILI & Francesca MEDDA, 2015. "The Port Attractiveness Index:Application On African Ports," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 41, pages 47-82.
    9. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji, 2004. "Learning and Local Knowledge Institutions in African Industry," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 02, United Nations University - INTECH.
    10. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji & Lal, Kaushalesh, 2004. "Sectoral Pattern of E-business Adoption in Developing Countries," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 07, United Nations University - INTECH.
    11. Seunghwan Myeong & Yongmin Kwon & Hyungjun Seo, 2014. "Sustainable E-Governance: The Relationship among Trust, Digital Divide, and E-Government," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(9), pages 1-21, September.
    12. Richard Perkins & Eric Neumayer, 2011. "Is the internet really new after all?: the determinants of telecommunications diffusion in historical perspective," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 30800, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Srinuan, Chalita & Bohlin, Erik, 2011. "Understanding the digital divide: A literature survey and ways forward," 22nd European Regional ITS Conference, Budapest 2011: Innovative ICT Applications - Emerging Regulatory, Economic and Policy Issues 52191, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    14. Nour, Samia Satti Osman Mohamed, 2010. "The impact of ICT in the transformation and production of knowledge in Sudan," MERIT Working Papers 063, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    15. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji, 2005. "Systems of Innovation and Underdevelopment: An Institutional Perspective," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 01, United Nations University - INTECH.
    16. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji & Gehl Sampath, Padmashree, 2006. "Rough Road to Market: Institutional Barriers to Innovations in Africa," MERIT Working Papers 026, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    17. Feng, Guangchao Charles, 2015. "Determinants of Internet diffusion: A focus on China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 176-185.


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