Many African women can still only dream of owning a smartphone and having access to the internet. Men, however, have long been able to surf the web. This inequality has significant political and economic consequences.
Some 200 million Africans are still offline — either voluntarily or involuntarily. Only two out of three women own a cell phone and barely one in three uses their mobile data on a regular basis. Seven out of 10 online mobile users are men. This phenomenon is known as the ‘Mobile Gender Gap,’ which is currently at 41 percent.
So where does this gap come from? A report from the GSM Association (GSMA), which represents the interests of mobile network companies worldwide, cites four main causes: illiteracy and a lack of internet knowledge, unaffordable mobile data, irrelevant content, and a lack of security.
The GSMA estimates that if as many women as men used mobile internet worldwide, global gross domestic product could rise by $700 billion (€628 billion). Africa also offers great opportunities in this regard: Last year the continent received $110 billion from the use of mobile technologies and services. Currently, 3 million people work in this sector. By 2022, Africa’s mobile technology economy is expected to generate over $150 billion.
The GSMA has put forward a number of ideas on how to close the Mobile Gender Gap. To begin with, governments should set clear goals on how to enable more women to go online. In addition, mobile training should be offered in conjunction with products that match women’s lifestyles and financial situation.
Source : GSMA
Keywords : Africa, News, Economy, Internet, Penetration, Mobile
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