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The Impact of Internet Access on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa

Georges Vivien Houngbonon, Justice Tei Mensah and Nouhoum-000531164 Traore

No 9945, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of access to high-speed internet on innovation andentrepreneurship in Africa. The identification strategy exploits the staggered arrival of submarine internet cablesto the coast of Africa and the subsequent rollout of terrestrial fiber network across the continent. The findingsshow a positive effect of access to high-speed internet on innovation at the firm level, with availability of digitalskills within the firm playing a key role in the internet-innovation nexus. The paper also finds evidence ofinternet-induced entrepreneurship: the probability that a household establishes a non-farm business increases whenconnected to the internet. However, the increase in entrepreneurial activities is largely concentrated in theservice sector.

Keywords: Marketing; Private Sector Development Law; Private Sector Economics; Labor Markets; Common Carriers Industry; Food & Beverage Industry; General Manufacturing; Pulp & Paper Industry; Construction Industry; Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies; Textiles; Apparel & Leather Industry; Plastics & Rubber Industry; Telecommunications Infrastructure; Information Technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-02-23
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent, nep-ict and nep-sbm
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