Research findings of a study done by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in conjunction with Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) have indicated that the country is not doing well in the area of internet usage.
The Survey targeted 12,000 households and 12,000 individuals and the findings indicated that six percent of the population use internet.
The findings showed that 55 percent of the targeted audience for the survey could not use internet because they could not afford it.
Deputy Director General for MACRA Francis Bisika said the survey being the first of its kind, tried as much as possible to capture data and information on ICT indicators as defined by the guidelines and methodologies set by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Summit Information Society (WSIS) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) as well as those on recent global ICT developments.
“Looking at the findings, you will see that we have made some headway in the access to and usage of broadcasting and postal and courier services but still have some challenges in access to and usage of some ICT services in the telecommunications sector.
He added: “Let these findings, therefore, be our wakeup call and re-ignite us into action to make Malawi yet another ICT Success story.”
He said the findings will go a long way in helping Government, the public and private sectors and the nation at large take stock of achievements as well as gaps in the communications sector adding they [the findings] will also act as a motivation and roadmap to make ICT as a catalyst for economic growth in Malawi.
MACRA commissioned the national survey on ICT services and engaged the services of the National Statistical Office (NSO) to independently carry out the survey on access to and usage of ICT services in Malawi in 2014 and 2015.
The survey covered aspects of accessibility to and usage of telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services in the country. The main objective of the survey was to establish reliable data on the access to and usage of ICT services at household and individual levels in the country as baseline for comparable statistics with other countries.
Coordinator for the survey Lizzie Chikoti said this is a baseline survey so that the service providers should see where they need to improve on the services they are giving to the public.