Internet access in urban Africa, do we need to worry?

I’ve been thinking about the urban areas today, not least because my idea to set up an Africa wide internet chain specifically targets urban areas. Food prices are being driven up by bio-fuels, true that but there is also a silent assassin called urbanisation and climate change.

As more people move from rural to urban areas less people are farming so less food is being produced, even if it was just for subsistence, it means more people are having to buy food as opposed to growing it themselves. So what am I driving at? Internet access in urban Africa is not that great as the guys at jh-01 uncovered in the presentation below. I’m talking in terms of the quality of the internet connection, the service one gets in the average internet cafe, shop fitting design, aesthetics etc. There’s an opportunity to explore here drawing on the lessons from the micro finance industry which has morphed from an NGO activity into a commercially viable business for those seeking a triple bottom line.

The biggest question for many is how to improve access to capital for SMEs who are really the drivers in internet cafe industry in Africa. There will be trying to answer this question at a conference at The World Bank Headqaurters, titled Small Business Finance – What Works? What Doesn’t. As impractical as may be i wish they would the entrepreneurs caught in this financing gap to elaborate their challenges for themselves but then how do you contact these people?

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