How Africa achieved the world’s highest growth in Internet users between 2000 and 2017

Growth of Internet Users in Africa 2017

In Bra Willy’s recent monthly feature on SAFM’s Media Show he shared insights about the growth of Internet users in Africa between the years 2000 and 2017. 

This blog expands on the topic. The source of the stats is Internet World Stats.

Internet Users in Africa in 2000

As the Internet stats for the year 2000 show, South Africa was far ahead of the rest of the continent. Egypt was a distant second. Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania completed the top 5.

Tap on the interactive African map below for the country Internet user stats.

The African map below highlights countries with highest Internet user stats. The darker the colour, the higher the number of users. 

African Map of Internet Users in 2000

You can find the associated spreadsheet of Internet user stats in Africa here.

Internet Users in Africa in 2017

Here are the moves in the top five African countries between 2000 and 2017, owing to Internet growth:

  • South Africa 🇿🇦 moved from first spot (in 2000) to fourth spot (in 2017), and was deposed by Nigeria 🇳🇬 that moved from third spot.
  • Kenya 🇰🇪 moved from fourth to second spot.
  • Egypt 🇪🇬 moved one place lower to third spot.
  • Morroco 🇲🇦 moved up one place to fifth spot.
  • Tanzania 🇹🇿 was pushed out twelve places from fifth to seventeen spot – the biggest top five move from 2000 to 2017.
African Map of Internet Users in 2017

You can find the associated spreadsheet of Internet users in Africa here.

Growth of Internet users in Africa between 2000 and 2017

The top five countries by growth are found in the bar graph below.

While reflected growths are phenomenal, this is in part because the top five countries in question came from a very low Internet user base in 2000 (DRC grew from 500 to 3 million users!). In addition, their user numbers are still comparatively lower in 2017. 

To make the point – the combined number of Internet users of these top five countries comes to 16 million in 2017, while South Africa alone has more than 25 million Internet users!insights in this blog would be great. You can do so here below.

eNitiate_Internet_User_Growth_in_Africa_3_September_2017

You can find the associated spreadsheet of growth of Internet users in Africa here.

Internet penetration in Africa in 2017

3 of the top five African countries by Internet penetration are also in the top five by number of users.

Nigeria has the largest number of Internet users (= 94 million), but its penetration of 49% puts it at seventh highest in Africa.

Africa’s growth in Internet users between the years 2000 and 2017 is the highest in the world, but its penetration at 28% penetration lags behind the 50% world average.

eNitiate_Internet_User_Penetration_in_Africa_3_September_2017

You can find the associated spreadsheet of Internet penetration in Africa here.

Performance across African Regions between 2000 and 2017

In this section, the 54 African countries have been divided into 5 Regions. 

Western Africa (16 countries) contributes 34% to the continent’s total of 353 million Internet users, followed by Northern Africa (7 | 27%), Eastern Africa (11 | 21%), Southern Africa (12 | 12%) and Central Africa (8 | 3%).

Southern Africa’s growth has pulled down the continent’s average.

Central Africa’s penetration is 4 times less than the average for Africa.

The gallery below shows a map Africa divided into the five regions, and 3 bar graphs of Internet users (2017), growths (2000-2017) and penetrations (2017.)

Tap on the African map image to activate side scrolling effect for the gallery.

You can find the associated spreadsheet of Internet users in Regions of Africa here.

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