Spatial analysis of urban digital divide in Kigali, Rwanda

Chuks Otioma, A.M. Madureira* (Corresponding Author), Javier Martinez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Access to Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) and its potentials for cities are often uneven across geographies and demographics, a condition that has been referred to as the digital divide. Given the invisibility of digital access, certain geo-demographic groups could face the risk of digital exclusion. However, where not aspatial, most studies explore the digital divide at macro-spatial levels (national and regional levels), which makes them less relevant for knowledge generation and policies at intra-urban scales, the actual hubs of innovations. This paper explores the state of ICT access in Kigali City, at an intra-urban level. It analyses official census data on ICT Access Indicators across dimensions and space, 35 administrative areas called sectors. The paper establishes the relative digital access performance of the sectors based on the measurement of their ICT Location Quotients. In Kigali City spatial distribution of ICT access is significantly clustered, with areas of concentration at the core and sparsity on the northeastern periphery of the city. This espouses spatiality–digitality relations. Using data reduction, we establish that existing urban inequality in infrastructure, urban agglomerative strength, planning status and household socio-economic status are replicated as correlates of the digital divide in Kigali City. We recommend that the baseline spatial–statistical analysis be applied for spatially-targeted ICT policy interventions and that the dimension of ICT be incorporated in policy making targeting urban inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-741
Early online date18 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • ICT cluster
  • Kigali
  • Rwanda
  • Spatial analysis
  • Urban digital divide
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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