62% of African youth find the price of mobile coverage to be high and just one in 8 can afford data coverage at all times, a report by Ichikowitz Family Foundation finds.
At the same time, data published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) indicated that South Africans pay up to 85 Rand ($5.29) per gigabyte (GB) of data, which is said to cost equivalent to nearly 4 hours work for people earning the minimum wage there.
That cost of a gigabyte is several times more expensive in South Africa when compared to:
South Africa – $5.29 per GB
North Africa – $1.53 per GB
Western Europe – $2.47 per GB
It was also established that a young Ghanaian can spend 800 Ghanaian cedi ($100) on data each month, and that the cost was always rising. In Kenya, 1GB of data is relatively cheaper – costing about 99 Kenyan shillings ($0.85).
The high expense of data in Sub-Saharan Africa has also been found to be the world’s most expensive mobile data prices, according to a worldwide mobile data pricing 2021 report.
In the Africa 2022 Youth Report, the Ichikowitz Family Foundation compiled interviews with about 4,500 18 to 24-year-olds across the continent. Part of their findings was that while 71% saw universal Wi-Fi as a fundamental human right, only 1 in 8 could afford coverage at all times.
The high internet cost is concerning given the ubiquity of smartphones on the continent. Data from GSMA indicates that 64% of Sub-Saharan Africans had a smartphone in late 2021, with the figure expected to grow to 75% by 2025.