The Internet is one of the most important enablers of social development and education. While Internet services have been quite phenomenal in the rest of the world, access to the Internet remains very low in Africa, especially in the rural communities.
According to a recent report by Kamaleon, Africa accounts for only 9.3% of the total internet users in the World despite being the second-largest continent, after Asia, in size and population.
Africa has a population of approximately 1.2 billion people which represents 16.2% of the total world population. As of June 2016, the number of internet users was reported at 340.8 million with an average penetration rate of 28.7%.
Nigeria still has the highest of users at 97.2 million, followed by Egypt at 34.8 Million, Kenya at 31.9 Million, South Africa at 28.6 Million and others as shown in the table below.
Brookings Institution’s recent report dubbed “Foresight Africa” notes that internet usage in the continent is still limited by a lower penetration rate and high costs of data as compared to other continents.
"Internet prices in sub-Saharan Africa vary wildly, from $3037 per Mbit/s in Chad to $8 in Ghana" pic.twitter.com/TDb8r9s79e
— Kenyanwallstreet (@kenyanwalstreet) January 15, 2017
Carlos Lopes, a Professor of Economics (University of Cape Town), Visiting Fellow (Oxford) and a champion of Africa’s transformation argues that internet penetration in the continent is going to be universal in the next ten years prices will go down, like it happened in other parts of the world.
— Carlos Lopes (@LopesInsights) January 16, 2017
Facebook Users Across Africa
Of the 340.8 million internet users in Africa, over 146.6 million of them were on Facebook. Here is a list of Africa’s leading countries on Facebook by subscriber numbers as of June 2016;
- Egypt has 32 million facebook users against a population of 90 million people. This represents a 35.5% penetration rate.
- Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with a population of 188 million people is second with 16 million users on the social media site.
- Algeria has 15 million users against a population of 40 million.
- South Africa has 14 million users vs a total population of 54 million.
- Morocco has 12 million users vs a population of 33 million.
- Kenya has 5.5 million users against a population of approximately 46 million people representing 11.3% Facebook penetration rate.
- Ethiopia 4.5 million users vs a population of 102 million.
- Angola 3.5 million users against a total population of 20 million people and 5,951,453 internet users.
- Ghana with a total population of 27 Million people has 3.5 million facebook users and 7.96 million internet users.
- Libya, Africa’s fourth largest country by area has 2.8 million facebook users against a population of 6.5 million and 2.8 million internet users. That’s 42.8% penetration rate.
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