Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Satellite Coverage in Africa

I found the following map showing satellite coverage of Africa in the Acacia Atlas -2005, part of the International Research Development Center (IDRC). It has a wealth of information on connectivity – satellite, internet and mobile data that many readers will find very interesting.

Map showing the satellite coverage of Africa - 2005
36 Ku-band satellite coverage of Africa (2003)

This represents true communication coverage at a fraction of the cost that land lines, especially when you get to the interior regions of Africa that tend to be more remote. The Acacia Atlas is making the case for more access by the private sector into the market.

“Every square inch of Africa is covered by satellite bandwidth, but restrictive telecom policies stop this from supporting Africa’s development. There are 48 satellites with coverage… over Africa which can be accessed to provide international and national voice calls, broadcasting, data and internet services.”

We’ve seen a little opening up of the communications infrastructure since 2005, but it needs to continue at an even faster pace. There is no excuse for Africans holding Africa back from growth.

[PDF download – 10Mb]


  1. Way cool, I’ve been looking for a map like this.

    but restrictive telecom policies stop this from supporting Africa’s development.

    Yeah this is going to be a problem. I hear one of the reasons land connections aren’t developing is largely because of politics of this sort.

    I haven’t done the calculations, but I still think land lines are going to be crucial, but satellite will go a long way for now.

  2. Thank you Hash for this precious information.
    I was trying to make the same point that satellite coverage might be one way around the lack of landlines coverage here
    WRT that point, the information you shared is priceless.

  3. Interesting map!

    But on the liberalization of the telecommunication infrastructure: We didn’t have free competition in Germany until this decade…

  4. Absolutely fascinating!

    The way that they have color coded it presents a strong case, roughly only 12 out of 54 nations are liberal in this area according to what I am seeing on the map. I am very surprised to see that Zimbabwe is more liberal than S. Africa in Satellite communications

  5. Africa’s telecomm industry would move so much faster if it wasn’t for those governments. Catchy name for the website by the way…

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