Africa’s bandwidth deficit is no secret. Despite 67% growth of international Internet capacity in 2003, Africa’s share of global Internet capacity remained virtually unchanged at 0.2%. While Africa’s bandwidth supply is clearly expanding, the rest of world’s Internet capacity is growing at a faster rate.
In 2003, Europe emerged as Africa’s top hub, with its share of the region’s international IP connectivity hovering around 53%. The bulk of this capacity connects to North Africa, which is served by several high-capacity submarine links to Europe. In addition, the deployment of the SAT-3/WASC submarine cable has increased Europe’s role in sub-Saharan Africa. North America, which in 2000 connected as much as 72% of Africa’s backbone capacity, now accounts for only a third of the region’s connectivity.