Comparing the Determinants of Internet and Cell Phone Use in Africa: Evidence from Gabon

Communications & Strategies, No. 86, 2nd Quarter 2012, pp. 65-83

19 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2013

See all articles by Thierry Penard

Thierry Penard

University of Rennes 1 - CREM

Nicolas Poussing

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER); CREM

Gabriel Zomo Yebe

University Omar Bongo

Philemon Nsi Ella

University Omar Bongo

Date Written: June 15, 2012

Abstract

Within developed countries, the penetration of cell phones and the Internet has risen in tandem and the point of market saturation has nearly been reached in both markets. In contrast, the African continent has been characterized by more uneven progress, with the penetration of cell phones (41% in 2010) considerably outpacing the penetration of the Internet (9.6%). The question is then raised as to whether cell phone and Internet adoption processes in Africa are different as compared to other regions. To address this question, we compare the determinants and hindrances of both Internet and cell phone use in Gabon, using household survey data. Our econometric results show that the primary factors stimulating Internet use consist of a high level of education and computer skills. As regards cell phone use, the main obstacles are economic. Finally, an individual's age has a positive impact on cell phone use and a negative impact on Internet use. The differences identified in both penetration and user profiles between Internet and cell phone service should motivate African governments to develop digital policies more heavily focused on a wider dissemination of cell phones in order to make innovative services and applications (e.g. in the field of health or education) available to as broad a population as possible.

Keywords: Internet use, cell phone use, IT diffusion, digital divide, Africa

JEL Classification: L5, L9, O14, O33, O57

Suggested Citation

Penard, Thierry and Poussing, Nicolas and Zomo Yebe, Gabriel and Nsi Ella, Philemon, Comparing the Determinants of Internet and Cell Phone Use in Africa: Evidence from Gabon (June 15, 2012). Communications & Strategies, No. 86, 2nd Quarter 2012, pp. 65-83, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2270509

Thierry Penard (Contact Author)

University of Rennes 1 - CREM ( email )

7, Place Hoche
Rennes, Bretagne 35065
France

HOME PAGE: http://perso.univ-rennes1.fr/thierry.penard/index.htm

Nicolas Poussing

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) ( email )

11, Porte des Sciences
Campus Belval – Maison des Sciences Humaines
Esch-sur-Alzette, L-4366
Luxembourg

HOME PAGE: http://www.liser.lu

CREM ( email )

7 place Hoche
Rennes, Bretagne 35065
France

Gabriel Zomo Yebe

University Omar Bongo ( email )

1140 AVENUE DU PRESIDENT LEON MBA
BP 17013
LIBREVILLE
Gabon

Philemon Nsi Ella

University Omar Bongo ( email )

1140 AVENUE DU PRESIDENT LEON MBA
BP 17013
LIBREVILLE
Gabon

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
199
Abstract Views
1,023
rank
168,754
PlumX Metrics