Student Author(s)

Taylor Spanbauer, Hope College

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Virginia Beard, Political Science

Document Type


Event Date



The existence of a digital divide affects all information technology (IT) users. The digital divide is known as the gap between those who are able to make effective use of technology and the Internet, and those who are not. My project will explore the existence of a digital divide between countries in the global north and countries in the global south. Additionally, I will investigate the possible causes of the digital divide, and the positive or negative effects the divide may have on societies, all with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. Causes of the digital divide can be traced to economic instability, an urban and rural divide, and lack of infrastructure. Effects of the digital divide include increasing the urban and rural divide, lack of opportunity and education, and inability of economic growth. I specifically look at the digital divide in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using data from the Democratic Republic of Congo regarding aspects such as electricity, mobile phones, and internet access, and internet cafes, I will analyze the existence of a digital divide in the country.