15 November 2016 Last updated at: 1:11 PM

Malawi’s internet use remain poor – Report

Despite the world being in a technology era whereby the use of internet has been at an advanced stage, many Malawians are still failing to access the internet.

The report, Freedom on the Net 2016 released by American based think tank Freedom House, has described Malawians’ internet use to be partly fair due to obstacles blocking the strides of internet use.

Among the reasons preventing many Malawians from accessing the web include unprecedented inflation and currency depreciation that is fueling economic instability.

Internet

Internet usage remains poor in Malawi (Google image)

The report further points on poverty to be a factor pushing back the country on steps to achieve fair internet use in Malawi.

“According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), internet penetration stood at 9 percent in 2015, up from 6 percent in in 2014. Fixed broadband subscriptions are extremely rare. Mobile phone penetration is also low at 35 percent, compared to an average of 76.2 percent across the continent,” reads part of the report.

A previous study titled by Akamai ‘State of the internet’ noted that Malawi’s connection speeds are frustratingly slow, decreasing to an average of 1.7 Mbps from 1.9 Mbps a year prior, compared to a global average of 6.3 Mbps.

The Freedom House report also placed doubts on the county’s sole communication regulator Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority’s (MACRA) independence arguing that it is controlled by politicians, a development that is making the nation to remain stuck in achieving fair use of the net.

On Malawians’ freedom to use the net, the report noted that citizens are fairly free to do so though there are cases of state interference, citing the arrest of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) officials over a WhatsApp conversation.



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