Sustainable Solutions for Last Mile Internet Access: Critical Success Factors

Research summary

The Internet is one of the most important innovations in today’s ICT domain. It is a tremendous, undisputed force for economic growth and social change (Dalberg Survey Report, 2013). The Internet technology is significantly changing the costs and modes of communication within Africa as well as between Africans and the rest of the world (Foster et al., 2004). This innovation is required to enhance information processing in order to execute applications and deliver services (Mofleh et al., 2008 and Raji et al., 2006). Africans living at home and abroad are experiencing the significant benefits of the Internet as well as its impact on economic development of their countries (Langmia, 2005).


Despite the enormous potential and numerous benefits of the Internet, its trend in Africa is very much a work in progress. For instance, the continent’s Internet penetration is just 15.6 percent (World Internet Statistics, 2012). Furthermore, the Internet user percentage in the least developed countries including the majority of Africa is 16 per 100 inhabitants (International Telecommunication Union [ITU], 2013). Africa accounts for about 15% of the world’s population (World Population Statistics, 2013). Nonetheless, no African country, not even Nigeria with 2.5 percent of the world’s population, is among the top 20 Internet using countries in the world (Ford, 2007). These statistics demonstrate a major obstacle to wider Internet diffusion on the continent.

The problem of Internet access in Africa needs an all-inclusive and pragmatic approach from all stakeholders in the ICT industry. This is because it makes sense that a conducive market in Africa would result in new growth opportunities for the developed world. More importantly, it would allow the developed nations to come closer to achieving the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) set by the UN. This would likely improve the living standard in Africa and could subsequently lead to greater political stability in this region. It is against this backdrop that this research aims to investigate critical success factors of sustainable solutions for last mile Internet access in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Research info

Research title
Sustainable Solutions for Last Mile Internet Access: Critical Success Factors

Research timeline
1.9.2011 - 1.5.2015

critical success factors Internet access Sustainable solutions


Finland, Nigeria

University of Jyväskylä
Jyväskylä, Finland

Head of research
Almamy Touray

Research team
Almamy Touray, Airi Salminen, Timo Hämäläinen, Anja Mursu

Contact information
Almamy Touray

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