Research ICT Africa (RIA) is a non-profit, public interest, research entity which undertakes research on how information and communication technologies are being accessed and used in African countries. The aim is to measure the impact on lifestyles and livelihoods of people and households and to understand how informal businesses can prosper through the use of ICTs. This research can facilitate informed policy-making for improved access, use and application of ICT for social development and economic growth. RIA collects both supply-side and demand-side data. On the demand-side nationally representative surveys are conducted on ICT use and demand in African countries. This survey dataset consists of data collected on households and informal businesses in 9 African countries in 2017 and 2018.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
Households and individuals
v1.1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution
Version 1 of the dataset included the household data but not the data from the survey of informal businesses. Version 1.1. includes data files for households and for informal businesses enumerated in the 2017-2018 round of the RIA ICT Access Survey. Because there have been no changes to the data files they remain version 1. The dataset is version 1.1. to reflect the addition of the file with business-level data.
Data collected on households includes: Dwelling type, household expenditure, access to electricity, ownership of goods, data on postal address and bank accounts, access to, use of, and expenditure on internet and landline, as well as household remittances. Data collected on household members includes: Age, sex, relationship to household head, marital status, highest education level, main economic activity, income and other earnings, and mobile phone ownership. A household member was selected at random to provide more detailed data. Data collected on the Randomly Selected Individual includes: Contribution to household expenses, literacy, language, ownership of CD/MP3 player/ipod, social networks, money and banking, use of TV, radio, public phones, work phone, internet, detailed data on mobile phone usage.
Data collected on informal businesses includes: Ownership, products and services, registration, financial information (taxation, start-up capital, business revenues, credit facilities, banking transations, business expenses), business advice, suppliers, customers, employees, employment contracts, access to electricity, and business climate.
Data collected on business owners and managers includes: Age, education level, vocational education, business skills training,
Data collected on business media includes: Website, social media access and use, medium of communication with suppliers and customers, fixed-line access and use, mobile phone access and use, computer access and use, and mobile money.
The surveys had national coverage. Survey countries were Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda
The data is nationally representative on a household and individual level for individuals 16 years of age or older.
Producers and sponsors
Research ICT Africa
The random sampling was performed in four steps for households and businesses, and five steps for individuals.
• Step 1: The national census sample frames was split into urban and rural Enumerator areas (EAs).
• Step 2: EAs were sampled for each stratum using probability proportional to size (PPS).
• Step 3: For each EA two listings were compiled, one for households and one for businesses. The listings serve as sample frame for the simple random sections.
• Step 4: 20 Households and 10 businesses were sampled using simple random sample for each selected EA.
• Step 5: From all household members 15 years or older or visitors staying the night at the house one was randomly selected based on simple random sampling.
Three weights were constructed, for households, individuals and for small businesses. The weights are based on the inverse selection probabilities1 and gross up the data to national level when applied.
Dates of Data Collection
South African survey
Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Surveys were undertaken during 2017 for all countries exept Senegal and Tanzania, where surveys were conducted in 2018.
University of Cape Town
Licensed use files, available for non-commercial use only