Tech Internet cafes in Accra are quickly becoming a thing of the past

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Smartphones competition

play These people have a Real Internet Café. But they have yet to see what real, full-fledged Internet access looks like. (flickr / Charlesfred under Creative Commons)

Back in the early 2000s, the only way people could send an email to family and friends back in the UK and US was to stop by an Internet cafe.

Internet cafes were an important place to go to get connected to the rest of the world.

Having access to the Internet at home or on your phone was almost unheard of in Ghana. Cyber cafes in Ghana could be found in the smallest of villages but that's changing.

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According to the Ghana Communications Commission(NCA), as of November 2015, Ghana had over 35 million active phone lines with access to mobile internet. And that has led to a decline in the number of internet cafes across the country.

Previously, Ghana has seen its data penetration rise over 10%. Thankfully! due to the advent of smartphones, which has allowed more Ghanaians hooking on the internet with their smartphones. The NCA says the number of internet Cafes in Ghana dropped and the authority blames the smartphone world.

Many Internet cafes have turned to different businesses altogether.

Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa visited Madina; a suburb of Accra to interact with internet cafe operator Francis Boateng.

READ ALSO:This 15-year-old Ghanaian has developed an app to help you manage expensive Internet data in Africa

He tells us that people hardly come to his cafe to browse thus patronage has fallen.

'' When I started operating in 2012, I had so much attention because the internet was not a regular product for homes amongst other places. But now at the comfort of your space, you can do magic with your smartphone."

"Apparently, I make quite some good money from photocopying and scanning" and not internet browsing, he added.

Right opposite Francis's cafe is a once functional internet cafe which has been turned into some sort of viewing centre for people to watch premiership soccer match.  

While Internet cafes had become gathering places, especially for the young, Francis says Ghanaians don't miss them.

"Things are constantly shifting," he says. Businesses change and update all the time. Francis himself uses apps on his smartphone to connect with his family and friends inside Ghana.

"I may close down in some few months time because the revenue I make is unable to even pay a quarter of the rent coupled with utilities", he added.

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