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Public access to ICTs in Ghana

January 20, 2012  »  StatisticsOne Comment

These days, it is common knowledge that the typical Internet café user is young and male. However, have you ever wondered how often these users access the Internet, how far they travel to reach the public venue, or how long ago they first used the Internet?

Recently, the Global Impact Study, a five-year study researching how libraries, telecentres, and cybercafes make a difference, released its first working paper. The study, spearheaded by the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School surveyed “public venue ICT users” from Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, and the Philippines on how they use information communication technology. One-thousand users per country were interviewed at approximately 250 public access locations scattered across a diverse geographical area.

Highlights of the working paper as they relate to Ghanaian public Internet users are noted below:

Age:

  • 66% of users were under the age of 25
  • 35% of users were between 20 and 24 years of age
  • Only 1% of users were age 50+

Gender:

  • 25% of users were female (75% male)
  • 33% of female users were between 12 and 15 years of age

Education:

  • The majority (82%) of users had at least a secondary level of education
  • 51% of users were currently students
  • 32% of users were currently employed

Income:

  • 52% of users reported a family income of less than 100 cedis
  • 27% of users reported a family income of greater than 300 cedies

Access:

  • 26% of users have Internet access at home
  • 97% of users have mobile phone access
  • 47% of users use a public venue because there is “no other option for internet access”
  • 6% of users use the public venue to get help from other users or staff

Distance:

  • 62% of public access venues were within 1km from the user’s residence
  • 6% of users traveled farther than 5km to reach the venue
  • 78% of users first used the internet at a public access venue

Frequency:

  • 41% of users use the venue nearly every day
  • 88% of users use the venue at least once a week
  • 49% of users have used a computer for over 5 years
  • Only 8% of users are new to using a computer in the past year

Misc:

  • Only 1% of users reported having a disability

Source: Sciadas, G., with Lyons, H., Rothschild, C., & Sey, A. (2012). Public access to ICTs: Sculpting the profile of users. Seattle: Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School.