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The use of the Internet in Morocco: measuring the second level digital divide

February 10, 2013  »  ICT PolicyNo Comment

Since October 2009, Morocco has been engaged in a national project in order to bring Morocco into the digital age. The strategy, Maroc Numérique 2013, hopes to improve information access in the coming years. Of course, Internet use habits vary across Morocco. It is no longer meaningful to simply compare Internet users with those who do not use the Internet (first level digital divide), but rather by how people access the Internet. Such is the digital divide of the second degree.

With this in mind, a questionnaire given last year to over 1,000 people living in Rabat and Casablanca hoped to answer a few questions. The results suggest the use of the Internet in large Moroccan cities is influenced by the socioeconomic status and living conditions of individuals. Although the results come as no surprise, the hope is that such well-documented findings can ensure that future ICT policies address living standards and the social well-being of citizens.

General facts about Moroccan Internet:

  • There are no recent scientific studies on the adoption and use of ICT in Morocco – the last was of 1,240 households distributed nationally
  • Annual reports of ICT adoption are provided by the regulator (ANRT)
  • The number of Internet subscribers grew by 70% between 2010 and 2011
  • At least 84% of Internet subscribers access via 3G
  • ADSL prices declined 40% in two years from 2008-2010

The survey, held from November 2011 to May 2012 found:

  • 90% of respondents have Internet access either at home or at their workplace
  • 80% use the Internet daily; 20% described ‘average’ or ‘rare’ usage
  • Nearly 80% use email, social networks, and web searches
  • 10% have a personal website or online blog
  • 29% engage in e-shopping
  • 72% state the main obstacle to the use of the Internet is privacy concerns
  • Almost half of respondents cite insufficient quality of service as a barrier to Internet use
morocco-internet-usage-oukarfi

What Internet users in Rabat and Casablanca do online. {ISSR}

Conclusion:

  • The probability of intensive use of the Internet is good for young age groups, among graduates of higher education, and those living in wealthy neighborhoods
  • People aged 40 years and older, those with a low education, unskilled workers, and residents of poor neighborhoods are less likely to use the Internet on a frequent basis
  • Morocco must ensure individuals have the knowledge and cognitive skills necessary for effective use of ICT

Source: Samira Oukarfi. “L’usage de l’Internet au Maroc : Essai de mesure de la fracture numérique de second degré.” Trans. Google. International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies, Vol. 2 No. 2 Feb. 2013, pp. 118-130. http://www.issr-journals.org/xplore/ijias/IJIAS-13-009-02.pdf