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Tackling digital inclusion grim in SA

from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – STAKEHOLDERS believe addressing digital inclusion might be difficult to achieve South Africa amid fewer homes having fixed broadband access.

This is based on the latest Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) State of Information and Communications Technology report, which illustrates that a little over 2 million homes have access.

Of these, only 660 000 homes have a fibre connection.

This has compelled Communications and Digital Technologies minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, to declare that government will review its plans to provide South Africans with access to connectivity in their homes by 2024.

“Access to connectivity has become a basic need,” the minister said.

“It is as much a basic need as access to water and access to electricity − because it determines access to education, access to health, access to work, which are fundamental for our survival,” she added.

However, according to Karam Malhotra, partner and global vice president of SHAREit Group, there is an “accessibility disconnect,” which happens when user habits outpace infrastructure growth.

SHAREit, an online and offline digital content platform, has pledged to tear down the barriers to digital inclusion in emerging markets and provide access to the underserved.

The 2021 Roland Berger Digital Inclusion Index, Sub Saharan Africa placed last in each of the four categories – accessibility, affordability, ability and attitude – against all other regions

SHAREit’s success is attributed to its localisation efforts, analysing the target market’s cultural background and language environment and adapting the app’s design, interaction, and functionality accordingly.

It selected PerformDM, one of Africa’s digital media sales agencies operating in over 25 African countries, as the exclusive strategic sales partner of SHAREit in sub-Saharan Africa.

Chanel Hardman, PerformDM Acting Country Manager, said the app reached almost 20 million monthly active users in South Africa.

– CAJ News

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