Malawi pushes up mobile, internet penetration
Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has confirmed the country has increased its mobile and internet penetration.
In a pre-recorded State of the Nation address, Mutharika said: "I am pleased to inform the august House that during the period under review, Government increased mobile penetration from 40.3 percent in 2018 to 48.1 percent in 2019; scaled up internet penetration from 28.1 percent in 2018 to 32.1 percent in 2019; and increased operators’ growth from 11 in 2018 to 15 operators in 2020.”
Mutharika added that the government will continue to invest in projects focusing on rural and urban technology needs.
ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) President Bram Fudzulani said: "The latest figures mentioned by the state president during the SONA address, I have checked with MACRA and are yet to make them public.”
Fudzulani added that according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Development, despite widespread use of mobile phones for connectivity, internet use in Malawi remains limited and only 14% of the population access the Net.
He said that more could be done in the area of internet taxation and gadgets, which the President did not mention.
According to Fudzulani, the government needs to target low income groups, women and rural communities with digital literacy initiatives to ensure everyone is equipped with the skills to effectively leverage the internet.
"We are in a world where it is so much harder to get by without the web - as evidenced during the COVID-19 global pandemic. It therefore makes sense that a lot of consideration should be placed to ensuring more Malawians have access to affordable internet.”