Internet Adoption and Use in Cameroon

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Bakehe, Novice P.
Fambeu, Ariel H.
Piaptie, George B. Tamokwe
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African Economic Research consortium
The aim of this study was to analyse the changes in the determinants of Internet adoption and use in Cameroon. The study used two individual surveys carried out in 2008 and 2015. Using discrete choice models and a comparative analysis, the study was able to highlight three major results. Firstly, following the emergence of equipment that was more compatible with third-generation (3G) mobile technology (smartphones and tablets), possessing a “traditional” mobile telephone, which could enable Internet adoption in 2008, was no longer relevant in 2015. Other factors, such as being unemployed or possessing a laptop, which were not significant in 2008, had an impact on Internet use in 2015. Secondly, most of the socio-economic and social network factors which influenced Internet adoption and use in 2008 were still relevant in 2015. The key factors were the respondent’s education level, his/her age, and the number of Internet users in his/her social environment. Finally, the study found that the coefficients associated with the marginal effects of most of these invariant factors increased over time both in the Internet adoption and Internet use models. This means that as the Internet penetration rate increased and the means used to have Internet access became more diverse, the first-level and second-level digital divides tended to worsen. These results are likely to help the government develop and implement more effective digital policies aimed at promoting mass Internet use in Cameroon. One will think first and foremost of policies aimed at training and informing the people who do not have Internet access. However, it could also be policies that target those who already use the Internet but are “isolated”, and who do not have access to information and expert advice in their vicinity, and, who, as a consequence, use the Internet in a sub-optimal way and are likely to be disappointed.
Internet adoption , , Internet use , , ICT, , digital divide