New evidence reveals disparity in internet access for children in five African countries

A recent UNICEF research brief estimated the level of internet access for children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as the most common barriers to connecting children to the digital world. The report classified these common barriers into three categories: infrastructure-related, resource-constrained, and adult permission-related. According to the findings, 90% of children in the five surveyed countries reported having at least one barrier to regular internet access. The most frequently mentioned barrier was the high cost of data.

The report identified three priorities for addressing the digital divide and enabling equal access to digital connectivity: investing in electricity and connectivity with a focus on marginalised communities and users; lowering the cost of connectivity and devices; and addressing cultural and social norms as barriers that prevent children and adolescents from using the internet.