Digital Divide Revised

Courtesy of Paul Lamb’s Download Divide over at Cool and Conscientious Ning network, a link to an article lamenting how far South Africa and Africa have fallen behind on the digital frontiers, using Firefox download statistics as proof.

The United States generated the most downloads during the 24 hours with a total number in excess of 2.5 million. It was followed by Germany with 600 000, Japan with just over 400 000 and countries like the UK, Spain, France, Canada, Italy and many others with between 200 000 and 400 000 downloads.

South Africa, in comparison, totaled under 20 000 during the 24 hours. This in itself is not too bad, but when comparing the top African countries with other regions it becomes clear that a digital divide has developed.

The top African countries were: South Africa – 19 000, Egypt – 6 000, Morocco – 4 600, Algeria – 3 200, Nigeria – 1 700 and Kenya – 1 300. Other African countries all had less than 1 000 downloads.

This seemed like an interesting way of looking at the download statistics. Firefox keeps track of downloads (8 million+ in one day for a world record and 19million+ as of this writing) in a nifty map interface. However, that only tracks total number of downloads. Nothing else to compare against.

Googling for more information got us to a user created dashboard that calculated downloads as a percentage of the population with real-time data. Lithuania tops the chart with a download ratio of 11.35%. US with the largest number of downloads (5,534,787) finds itself on the 15th spot with 1.82%.

Looking for a graphic representation ended in a color coded map. The graphic was posted on June 18, so the data in it is already outdated. However, it does give us a sense of access and connectivity in a visual format. (Key: Legend: Dark Red: 0.75% or more, Red: 0.50% or more, Orange: 0.30% or more, Yellow: 0.15% or more, Light Blue: 0.05% or more, Gray: less than 0.05% or no data)

Firefox Download Map

Categories: africa, regions, tools

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