initially has largely been driven by the local private sector, foreign companies, and development organizations. In both Ghana and Senegal, individual use is far less common than organizational and institutional uses, largely because many individuals lack the capital for a telephone line and computer. Thus, what is evident today is a high rate of users in nongovernmental (NGOs) and international organizations users as compared with domestic academic and commercial users.
In the United States the development of the Internet seems to have been driven by key technical changes, including the development of e-mail and file transfer protocols, development of the World Wide Web, and development of browser software. In Africa the lag in diffusion of Internet technology has reduced the immediacy of the impacts of these innovations. The Internet is much more affordable in developed countries than in Africa, since not only are prices lower but per-capita incomes are much higher. Therefore, diffusion of the Internet in Africa appears likely to lag that in developed countries and to be much more limited to economic elites than it has been in the United States. Given the economic status of foreign expatriates in Africa as compared to Africans, and given the experiential advantage that earlier introduction of the Internet in their home countries provided the foreign expatriates in Africa, the diffusion process also appears much more likely to provide comparative advantage to foreigners in Africa than was the case in the United States. General diffusion theory suggests that leaders in the adoption of a new technology appear to be better educated than average, and data for the United States suggest that education is a predictor of Internet use. Developed countries are much more homogeneous educationally than are African countries, and diffusion of the Internet in Africa can be expected to be slower in part because most citizens have had little schooling.
In the United States the initial emphasis was to stimulate communication within the country, while the fact that developed countries are now heavily networked as Africa begins the process suggests that the effect of the Internet in Africa may be to increase international communication rather than internal communication. The fact that international telephone connections are often of far better quality than domestic ones in Africa will strengthen this tendency toward increased international communication relative to internal communication.