The Internet has brought so many benefits to a backward continent despite remaining largely inaccessible to many of the inhabitants due to affordability, availability and lack of technical skill to embrace this technology.
According to this report showing internet world statistics, Africa constitutes only 10,9% of all world internet users. With an internet penetration of 35,9% against a world average of 56,1% Africa lags behind much to the detriment of its youthful population which makes up close to 60% of its whole demography.
The internet wherever accessible has meant more information and exposure for Africans. Networking has become easier with the emergence of social media.
Awareness campaigns now reach bigger audiences. The fight against diseases, reporting social and political injustices has been enhanced. It only takes a few clicks on the right platform to have something trending on World news.
The power of the internet can be seen when it has been wielded by citizen movements in politics. Some governments have had to shut down internet access to contain major unrest. Sudan, Zimbabwe, Gabon, DR Congo and Chad have all blocked the Internet at some point. Ethiopia and Somalia shut down the Internet for examinations.
It is disheartening to note that those with Internet access have not always been using it responsibly. Social media has increased the peddling of false information.There has also been much insensitivity especially towards victims of unfortunate events such as accidental deaths, rape and abuse which has left our societies broken instead of being better.
There is a need to introduce Internet access, ethics and etiquette as a subject in our schools. We must take it upon ourselves to continuously censure each other on Internet misuse.
Image credit/ Jenman African Safaris