They are between 20 and 25 years old and they use the Internet regularly. Some use it for entertainment, while others use it for information and training. AFRIK.COM has given the floor to young Congolese in a report on the use of the Internet. Let’s decipher!
Adrien is a student at the Catholic University of Bukavu, in eastern DRC. He has been using the internet for more than 10 years. At the beginning, this young student used it for entertainment, but with time, he ended up giving a more scientific meaning to the internet. « I’ve been using it since high school, » he says. « The Internet used to be a tool for entertainment and recreation for me, but over time, I realized that it was a tool for education and information, » he says. Aged 23, this medical student takes advantage of the Internet to read in his spare time. « The Internet allows me to access opportunities and information that are not available to me because of my geographical and financial situation, » he says.
For Fatuma, a student at the Catholic University of Congo, in Kinshasa, the country’s capital, it was hardly that she gave enough importance to the internet, but with time, things have changed. « Before, I didn’t attach much importance to the Internet, but with time, I realized that this tool was a means of development and communication, » says the 24-year-old student.
« Facilitating the acquisition of knowledge
For her part, Miriam, 22, gives a much more professional meaning to the internet. « I use the Internet for professional and educational purposes. I spend my days and weeks visiting sites dedicated to learning and credible information, » says the law student at the University of Lubumbashi, in the southeast of the country.
According to Subira, « the Internet is my whole life, » she says with pride. According to this 20-year-old, « the Internet is a space for entertainment, leisure and facilitates the acquisition of knowledge, » she says.
Only 12-15% of Congolese have access to the internet
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, accessing the internet is not easy. According to Kibassa Maliba, Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and New Information and Communication Technologies, « more than 50% of Congolese do not have a telephone and barely 12 to 15% have access to the Internet. This gloomy picture presented by the Minister was supported by a survey conducted in May by the Target polling institute, indicating that « less than 50% of Congolese have a smartphone.
Indeed, this delay in terms of access to the Internet is a hindrance in adapting to the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for many young people living in rural areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For Olengha, 25, « the internet is a tool for communication and sharing ideas. However, due to lack of means and infrastructure, we do not have access to all the benefits of technology in remote areas, » laments this young man living in Bunia, in the province of Ituri, in the northeast of the country.
These young people express themselves in this piece
« Using the internet for useful purposes
To better understand the question of what young people should do with the internet, Philomene Muhigwa, Researcher in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) believes that they should consider the internet as a tool for training and information. This Master in Communication and Media insists on using the internet for useful purposes. « The internet is a tool that has made life easier. Young people should use it for their development (…) For example, to acquire new skills to contribute to the development of the Democratic Republic of Congo, » she says.