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Internet habits of cyber café users in Morogoro, Tanzania

May 7, 2013  »  City ProfilesNo Comment

Ever wonder about Internet habits of those in Morogoro, Tanzania? An August 2012 study of 137 users in all 11 cybercafés thoroughly answers the question.

morogoro-tz-500

{flickr: gumtau}

Located 200km west of Dar es Salaam, Morogoro municipality is urban with a population in the hundreds of thousands. Four universities serve the population. Unsurprisingly, most cybercafé users were found to be male students. However, 45% of respondents were female, suggesting a shrinking of the ‘digital divide’. Common online activities included finding academic information, communicating with friends, and reading current news. Google and Yahoo were the preferred search engines by far and Facebook dominated all social media sites. Internet addiction did not seem to be an issue.

Findings:

  1. Most users already have access to the Internet elsewhere
  2. Good education and English proficiency are prerequisites to the use of Internet
  3. The area needs more bandwidth and more reliable electricity to reduce access costs.
  4. Computer training with an emphasis on e-business is recommended.
  5. Stakeholders (including the government) should sensitize non-users to recognize the importance of the Internet in their lives

Other interesting statistics:

  • 59% never received training on how to use the Internet
  • 30% had used the Internet for 5+ years
  • 64% spent between one and three hours at the cafe on one or two weekly occasions
  • 15% visited every day
  • Average charges were US $0.80 per hour
  • 23% used the Internet for business purposes
  • 77% accessed Facebook (41% Twitter, 33% YouTube, 27% blogs)
  • Problems included slow Internet (71%), high costs (62%), unreliable Internet (51%), inadequate skills (42%), power problems (41%), and inadequate computers (39%)

Source: Alfred S. Sife, “Internet use behaviour of cybercafé users in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania,” Annals of Library and Information Studies, Vol. 60, March 2013, pp. 41-50.