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As Africa's digital economy grows, expensive internet hinders investor activity in some countries – Yahoo News

A new report detailing the cost of mobile data in different markets across the world bears the evidence of why internet use in most of Africa remains low despite the growing broadband internet coverage.
The Worldwide Mobile Pricing 2022 report, which surveyed 233 countries and territories, shows that five of the 10 most expensive countries to buy mobile data in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mobile data is so costly in these countries that 1GB costs at least $10, which is 250 times more expensive than Israel, the country said to have the world’s cheapest data.
In Sao Tome and Principe, 1GB of data costs $29, while in Botswana it costs $16. Togo ($13), Seychelles ($13) and Namibia ($11) are the other African countries with the most expensive data packages — hindering economic growth and job creation.
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Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at price comparison site, said in a statement: “at the more expensive end of the list, we have countries where often the infrastructure isn’t great but also where consumption is very small.”
“People are often buying data packages of just ten megabytes at a time, making a gigabyte a relatively large and therefore expensive amount of data to buy,” he said.
In Africa, internet is cheapest in Ghana at $0.61, followed by Somalia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Eswatini, Kenya and Mauritius — where 1GB of mobile data costs less than a dollar. Evidently, affordable internet could explain the booming digital economies of these countries, hence their attractiveness to venture capitalists and tech investors.
Notably, the cost of mobile data significantly declined this year compared to the last one in Malawi ($26 to $2), Chad ($23 to $2), and Equatorial Guinea ($50 to $10) – taking them off the list of countries with the most expensive mobile data.
Over the last eight years, the number of people connected to the internet in Africa doubled to 28% — owing to increased broadband internet coverage and smartphone penetration. However, over half a billion (53%) people in regions with mobile broadband networks remain unconnected due to the high cost of data, according to the 2021 state of mobile internet in Africa report by GSMA, an umbrella organization representing mobile operators globally.
But this is likely to change as tech titans like Google and Meta invest heavily in infrastructure to bring what they say will be cheap and fast internet to Africa.
Affordable internet and increasing smartphone adoption, which is expected to grow to 75% from 64% last year, means that Africa’s digital economy, currently valued at $115 billion, and projected to grow sixfold by 2050, will positively affect other sectors of the economy.
Endeavor predicts that 44 million jobs could be created if internet penetration reached 75%, a 2.5% increase on GDP per capita for every 10% growth in mobile penetration, and global recognition and increased investments by tech giants and international investors.
New report examines Africa’s growth in the digital economy and VC investment landscape
It's been nearly a year since satellite Internet-of-Things connectivity provider Swarm was acquired by SpaceX, and Swarm co-founder and CEO Sara Spangelo (now senior director of Satellite Engineering at SpaceX) is ready to talk about what Swarm's been up to in that time. SpaceX is not known to be a super acquisitive company, so I was curious to hear about what it's been like for Spangelo and for Swarm.
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In a press release on Wednesday, Counterpoint’s Market Pulse reported that smartphone sales in China decreased by 14.2% year-on-year (YoY) in Q2 2022. The last time China’s volume of smartphone sales was below this point was before the introduction of the iPhone 5 in Q4 2012. Ivan Lam, a senior research analyst at Counterpoint, said China’s economy solely grew in Q2 2022 by 0.4% YoY, far from the market expectation of 0.8%-1%.
Cryptocurrency investors have arguably just had one of the least chaotic weeks in several months now. All eyes remain focused on bitcoin (BTC), which concentrates 40% of the value of the digital currency market. The king of cryptocurrencies is now moving around the $24,000 threshold after dropping to $18,000 in June.
This epic Lenovo laptop deal is one of the best we've seen all year. The brand's new 2022 touchscreen laptop is over $500 off for a limited time!
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Semiconductor companies are awaiting signage of the crucial CHIPS Act by President Biden after it passed both the Senate and House of Representatives this week.
The hard fork has been pushed back by at least “a few more weeks” until more testing is complete, developers said.
These look like official press images of Samsung’s next foldables.
STORY: These live caption glasses let deaf people 'see conversations'Location: London, EnglandThe glasses are connectedto a phone app that turns nearby speech into text displayed onthe inside of the lenses(DeafKidz International founder, Steve Crump)“To me, this technology enables me to be involved. It empowers and it resources me to be in the conversation in the moment. I'm getting a real time stream of subtitled information where ordinarily I might be behind. I might not quite catch everything, but this is giving me a real time narrative which enables me to be informed. It enables me to be involved, enables me to make decisions because I know what is being said.”The software, called XRAI Glass,is still being developedThe company’s CEO says it will soonbe able to translate languages
Getting ready to head back to campus? Head to Apple to shop back-to-school deals on iPads and MacBooks today.
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