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More than 80% of Chadian students and officials know how to use the internet but lack advanced skills

September 22, 2013  »  StatisticsNo Comment

The internet has existed in some form in Chad since 1997 but people still face a lack of infrastructure, a high cost of access, and a lack of awareness of its greater use. The Chadian Association for the Promotion and Development of the Internet therefore led a study with Internet Society Chad to identify the difficulties facing the sector. The group developed two types of questionnaires: one for Internet users and another for operators and internet service providers. In all, 1,000 Chadians were surveyed (189 secondary students, 646 university students, 164 officials/other) from March 15 – August 13, 2013, mostly in N’Djamena.

Internet Society Chad believes that this study will serve as a strong advocate for growth that will be led by strong demand for internet services.

Specific survey objectives:

  • To identify the needs of the population that uses the internet
  • To determine the internet penetration rate
  • To determine the frequency of use of the internet
  • To identify different means of access available
  • To determine the penetration of different means of access
  • To study the different offers available online

The results:

  • 81% know how to use the internet (fairly consistent across students and officials)
  • On average, an individual first used the internet in 2007
  • 73% have an email address (27% do not)
  • 47% use the internet at least twice weekly, 33% use the internet once per week, 20% never connect
  • Civil servants connect more often than students
  • Of all internet users, 77% use search, 48% use social networks, 21% use for research/professional
  • 72% access via mobile, 32% via internet café, 30% via computer modem/VSAT
  • 86% feel the internet cost is expensive
  • 38% think mobile internet speeds are good (27% modem, 25% internet café)
  • 79% have difficulty using a computer (47% with IT tools, 50% Office, 45% internet)

Analysis:

The number of people (especially students and teachers) who don’t know how to use the internet is rather high. Many universities do not have a computer center, or if they do, there is no internet connection. The cost of training centers (10,000 to 20,000 FCFA) is often too expensive for the average student and teachers rarely have access to IT training. Using the internet to do advanced activities is difficult on a phone and often necessitates a laptop (which is overly expensive). There are not many internet cafés in N’Djamena. Adult businessmen often have internet access at work but do not at home.

The cost of modem internet access is out of reach for students, even if the price is reduced by promotions. An hour of internet use at a café costs roughly 1000 FCFA (US $2) in the capital. However, mobile connections are more affordable and most respondents are satisfied with their phone. But, it is difficult to perform in-depth research using a mobile device.

Even if most Chadians have used the internet, they lack advanced skills. This is true despite the typical respondent using the internet for six years (since 2007).

Chadian internet offers (6 mobile operators and ISPs):

  • Sotel Chad: ADSL, CDMA, WiFi from 64 kbit/s to 10 Mbit/s
  • Airtel: GPRS modem for 20,000 CFA  and packages from 250 FCFA for 10MB to 50,000 FCFA for unlimited data
  • Tigo: GPRS modem for 20,000 CFA  and packages from 800 CFA for 30 MB/day to 50,000 CFA for 5GB/month
  • Prestabist, Saonet, Albidey: ISPs offering various services/prices

Needed is a transition to 3G networks and WiMAX technology, equipment rebates, promotion of these new wireless technologies, awareness for Chadian businessmen to invest in ICT, and general ICT training for the population.

Source (translated from): “Rapport de l’enquête relative aux problèmes de l’Internet au Tchad,” Internet Society Chad, September 2013.