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Abstract

This study identifies the significant factors affecting Internet growth levels at an early stage of growth in African nations. The average growth levels of Internet users for 1995 and 2003 are calculated and the associations between Internet growth level and several types of factors such as econ¬omic, educational, institutional, infrastructural, innovation-related, and environmental factors are examined. Human development, higher education, technology availability, and computer growth levels explain more than 84 percent of the variance in African Internet growth levels. When compared to non-African nations, Africa lacks the influence of institutional variables. Compared with a set of economically similar developing nations (bas¬ed on similar GDP per capita and income inequality levels), Africa has different Internet growth levels, even though the number of Internet hosts per 1,000 and delays in starting Internet diffusion are similar. These differences are probably due to lack of education, human development, infrastructural and environmental variables.

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