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African search engines

     
5:26 am on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi Steve

I've also been looking for foreign search engines and found an extensive site that lists them by country - Morocco included:
http://www.searchenginecolossus.com/

I noticed there wasn't an African forum and felt a little put out since I'm from that part of the world :). My country has the largest internet population on the continent, a "staggering" 3 million, so I don't know if anybody would be really be interested in those kind of numbers, but if anybody has questions, I'd be happy to help if I can.

[edited by: Rumbas at 8:49 am (utc) on April 10, 2003]
[edit reason] De-linked as per TOS [/edit]

8:47 am on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Seaman, welcome to the board. Glad to have you around :)

>anybody would be really be interested in those kind of numbers

We would love those kind of numbers! Please post what you got as I'm quite sute that we are many members that would find great interest in it.

Just start a new thread here in the Euro Forum and we can work from that.

Again welcome - looking forward to your findings.

8:56 pm on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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having just gone live with a site in Swahili I would also be interested in an African Search Engines Forum...I might even have time to be a moderator though it would be better done by somebdoy actually from the continent

African traffic is growing and a number of African countries and development NGOS working in Africa are looking at the web as an area in which inventiveness, creativity and craftsmanship can reap a financial reward without the need for the sort of large scale capital investment required for manufacturing...there si a lot of pressure now to get the infrastructure in place to get urban Africa "webbed up"...it might be best to have the info collated before people start getting desperate for it

4:37 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi Rumbas, belatedly, thank you.

Eric_Jarvis please send me the url of your Swahili site, I would like to check it out (No I don't speak Swahili).

I have found some internet statistics for Africa, which some people might find useful:

The total internet population of Africa is about 6.3 million, or 1.1% of the world's population (580 million.) All 54 countries have some level of internet access, but about 75% is concentrated in the northern and southern parts of Africa:

South Africa: 48% (3.07 million)
Egypt: 9.6% (600 000)
Kenya: 7.9% (500 000)
Morocco: 6.3% (400 000)
Tunisia: 6.3% (400 000)
Tanzania: 4.8% (300 000)
Nigeria: 3.2% (200 000)

In South Africa about 1.7 million are corporate users, 1.1 million dial ups and 0.5 million academic.
About 7% of South Africa's population has access to the internet, as opposed to the nearly 50% of most developed worlds.
Source: The Goldstruck Report 2002

Main search engines include ananzi.co.za and aardvark.co.za with ananzi being the largest and most popular. I have, however, found that ananzi results contain a lot of entries that are unrelated to the search query and usually just redo the query using google. (Yes google also rules the roost here).

6:27 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Seamen, welcome to the board, and thanks for the info.

The figures you post reflect what I would expect: Africa is a very diverse web landscape, with huge differences between countries and regions. There are many languages involved, and everything from technically very modern to barely wired countries.
The internet could be a tool to facilitate better communications between Africa and the rest of the world.

Everybody interested in african search engines and webmaster issues is invited to join in to discuss right here in the Euro forum, and of course in all other appropriate forums.
Putting up a dedicated forum however will probably take some more time, there's a critical mass to gathered before a forum can stand on it's own.

6:38 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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At the moment I'm not sure whether there will be enough demand to support a specific African forum, however, it is something to bear in mind for the future and I will certainly assist in any way I can.

heini, in addition to your comments about the differences between countries as far as web use is concerned, there are also huge differences between various area of the same country.

7:02 am on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi Seaman

I also have an interest in this area. I am originally from West Africa and although I no longer live there I still visit regularly.

I guess it is difficult to get a accurate picture of Internet usage numbers particularly in what is commonly referred to as "Sub-saharan" Africa but there is anectdotal evidence of siginificant growth in internet usuage in most urban areas, mostly fuelled by cyber-cafe usage.

Internet access from home remains on a very low scale and access from offices is generally restricted to multinationals and larger local companies.

Thus the nature of access clouds the true usage figures. A majority of Internet users do not have permanent access to the Internet but are supported by these commercial operations.

The deregulation of the telecommunications industry is also bringing about significant change in this area. Particularly through the use of VSATs for connectivity. The explosive growth of Mobile communications could also open a possible new channel for Internet Access if this technology can be harnessed

However as percentage of the overall population Internet access remains low and will probably remain so for some time.

With regards to Search Engines / directories I will sticky you a list you might find interesting.

12:57 pm on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hmm interesting discussion. I too have an interest. I am a South African and been wandering around there for a long time.
2:09 pm on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi Heini,

Thank you for the welcome. I agree with you, the internet is a great way to facilitate communication between Africa and rest of world. It can also be used as a great educational tool to transcend physical obstacles, borders and lack of infrastructure.

I think for a while to come still internet in Africa will be more useful as a source of information, rather than an industry to create wealth for large portions of the population.

A big problem is cost - there isn't enough competition (or for that matter, competitors) amongst telecoms in Africa. Deregulation is taking place much to slowly and it gets quite annoying to hear about "poor" students in the USA and UK who are able to afford ISDN lines.

I'm also not so sure about a dedicated forum - although it would be interested to see how many members are from the African continent?

11:33 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Also from good 'ol RSA......bring on the Africa forum!