Togo internet uptake lags

By Issa Sikiti da Silva, Togo

Togo’s internet problems are more serious than was thought and must be tackled as urgently as possible.

This emerged at the national forum for internet governance held in the capital Lomé this week.

“We have problems of infrastructure, cost and quality,” Togo Internet Society president Josiah Gilbert Kavégé said on Thursday.

Earlier on, Togo minister of post and digital economy sang the same song. "The quality of internet services in this country is not good and there is still plenty to do,” Cina Lawson said.

“Improvements have been made but again, until we have the quality to access the service you want, there will always be problems," she added.

Kavégé urged the involvement of everyone, including telecom operators, government, internet service providers (ISPs), the education sector, and civil society, among others, to remedy the situation and give internet users a renovated platform.

Internet access in rural areas, connectivity, broadband and cybercrime, among others, are just some of the issues that were discussed at the forum.

Only 5% of Togo’s six million people have access to the internet, according to a government study.

Despite being connected to the WACS fibre optic network, Togolese internet users have seen their dreams of a high speed connection fall apart when the situation fails to take off.

“Things need to improve, and improve fast if this country has to move forward in terms of new technologies. We are seriously lagging behind our regional counterparts in terms of internet access, quality and prices,” university student Aidah Touré said.

The minister admitted that a lot of work is currently going on to upgrade and modernise the infrastructure, but said it would take some time to be completed.

“It won’t happen in a few weeks,” she said, vowing to link cities and villages and work hard to bring down the prices.


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