in 2013 that by 2025 the penetration
rate will be approximately 50%b and
that 600 million Africans will be using
the Internet,c producing approximate-
ly $75 billion in annual e-commerce
activity and contributing $300 billion
to African GDP.
West Africa is a diverse region in
c According to http://www.internetworldstats.
com/ stats.htm, there are approximately 320 mil-
lion Internet users in North America and approx-
imately 630 million Internet users in Europe.
sub-Saharan Africa, including both
the Sahel desert and lush rain forests.
Many local languages from distinct language groups are spoken, along with
the former colonial languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, and
English. The region includes thriving
democracies like Ghana (with press
freedom ranked by Reporters Without
Borders better than France and the U.K.)
and repressive regimes like Equatorial
Guinea (with press freedom ranked by
Reporters Without Borders at the level
of Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, and North Korea).
The majority of the West African popu-
lation lives in countries that do not al-
low effective freedom of expression.d,e
Opposition supporters protest at the Place de la Nation in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, November 2, 2014.