Connecting the unconnected

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Africa_internet The total bottom of the pyramid household market for information and communication technologies (ICT) is estimated at $51.4 billion and includes 3.96 billion people with annual incomes below $3000. The Economist writes about poverty penalty in Africa, where only four out of every 100 people have internet access:

Of its 48 countries, the 28 in central and eastern Africa are connected to the web by only the flimsiest of satellite technology. Apart from the occasional internet hook-up at a diamond mine or UN camp, whole regions of Congo and Sudan, sub-Saharan Africa's two largest countries, have no connection at all. Even countries like Uganda, which are go-ahead about the internet, start from a very low base. Research by Microsoft found only one in 200 Ugandans regularly uses e-mail.

The organizers of the "Connect Africa" summit held today in Rwanda hope to encourage a new "Marshall Plan" for ICT on the continent.

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