The latest ZICTA survey on access and usage of information and communication technology by households and individuals in Zambia has revealed that 63 percent of the internet users in Zambia spend their time online on social networking sites.
The survey whose preliminary results were released today shows that there has been a marked improvement in the proportion of individuals that know how to use the internet from 4.8 percent reported in 2013 to 8.8 percent reported in 2015.
It shows that the majority of the households, accounting for 71 percent of the total number of households with access to internet services, access mobile broadband services using a mobile phone.
The survey also reveals that online risks awareness about risks associated with using the internet is relatively low in Zambia with only about 51 percent of the internet users in the country aware of the existence of any risks online.
“The most prevalent victims of internet risks are exposed to obscene material online accounting for 45 percent of the total number of people aware of the existence of internet risks. Victims of fake online promotions, inappropriate contact and sexting are also relatively high,” the report says.
“Online risk mitigation strategies among households are diverse and mainly motivated by the source of the households’ perceived greatest risks online. Most households that applied mitigation measures on online risks had rules about viewing pornography as well as about sharing passwords.”
The survey also indicates that around 64.5 percent of the households in the country have access to a mobile phone determined by at least one member of the household owning a mobile phone.
It further shows that about 51 percent of people aged above 10 years in Zambia are active users of mobile phones and but that only 13.5 percent of the individuals that own mobile phones have smart phones.
“About 71 percent of individuals that own smartphones use the devices to access Over The Top (OTT) applications like WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, Skype and Twitter for communication using instant messaging or voice calling.”
It also revealed that there was a marked improvement in the proportion of households that have access to a computer, determined by at least one member of the household owning a computer, from 4.9 percent recorded in 2013 to 7.1 percent in 2015.
“Correspondingly, there was a marginal improvement in the proportion of households that use their computers to access the internet at home from 46.7 percent of those that own computers recorded in 2013 to 49.7 percent recorded in 2015,” the report says.
“The proportion of households with a working television set reduced marginally from 35.5 percent recorded in 2013 to 33 percent in 2015. However, ownership of television sets by households remained relatively higher in urban areas than rural areas. Similarly, the proportion of households owning a working radio reduced from 52.7 percent reported in 2013 to 44.9 percent in 2015. The quality of radio reception was reported to be relatively better on community radio stations than the national broadcaster, ZNBC.”
The 2015 survey on access and usage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Zambia by households and individuals was conducted by ZICTA in collaboration with the Central Statistical Office and the Ministry of Transport and Communications in the month August 2015.
This is the second assessment undertaken by ZICTA primarily aimed at measuring progress in access and usage of ICTs by households and individuals in Zambia.
The survey was conducted in all the ten provinces of the country covering both rural and urban areas.
A total of 6,150 households were selected in the nationally.