Africa’s top 10 countries contribute a combined 76% to the continent’s Facebook active users

eNitiate | Africa's Top 10 Countries On Facebook | Feature | 13 Mar 2020

eNitiate has been blogging about Facebook’s performance in Africa for the past 10 years. We published several blogs on the various topics about this social network, including Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Lagos and Nairobi in 2016 and F8 conference in 2017.

In this post I analyse performance of Africa’s top 10 countries on Facebook. We have been blogging extensively about this particular topic since 2012. 

Africa's top 10 countries on Facebook

As at the 11th of March 2020, there are more than 210 million active Facebook users in Africa. This number has grown by 41% since 2017, and it makes up 16% of the continent’s total population of 1.3 billion people.

The map below shows the top 10 countries by active Facebook users.

eNitiate | Top 10 African Countries | Active Facebook Users

3 in every 4 active Facebook users come from the top 10 African countries above. Combined, the top 10 grew the active user base by 44% since 2017. 

As can be seen from the Africa’s Top 10 Countries map above, All of North Africa is in the top 10.

A deeper look at the top 10 African countries is provided in the graph below, which plots the active user numbers, contributions to the continent’s total user base and penetrations in 2020, and the 3-year growths.

eNitiate | Top 10 African Countries | Active Facebook Users

Leading the top 10 is Egypt, with 42 million active Facebook users. 4 in 10 Egyptians are on Facebook, resulting in 42% penetration. On a continental level, 2 in every 10 active Facebook users in Africa come from Egypt. This social network behemoth grew by 31% since 2017 in the country of the Pharaohs. 

The graph above also shows that in Libya, 8 in every 10 citizens are active Facebook users (79%). In addition, Africa’s largest oil producer that used to be in the world’s top 10 oil producing nations in its hey days has experienced the biggest growth in active users (86%) in the last 3 years; followed by Nigeria (63%) and Kenya (53%).

Facebook is still a key social network

Facebook’s total number of users continues to grow, according to Statista, defying the doomsayers about predictions of its imminent demise that have intensified in the last 5 years.. 

eNitiate | Statista | Facebook Growth 2004 to 2019

I am currently going through data from the Global Digital 2020 Report in preparation for the latest update of Africa’s overall performance on social media, which I plan to publish by the end of March. This report shows that Facebook is still a good bet for effective online media advertising.

The word of caution to the Digital Marketers is that we must not be too quick to write this social network platform off, despite the temptation to hurry off and check out what the new kids on the block offer.

Lots of headwinds lie ahead though

Growth numbers aside, regulators in key markets across the world are gearing up to clip the wings of the big tech companies – including Facebook – that are perceived to have grown too big for their own boots. The data privacy breaches that have headlines news mainly since the 2016 American elections have not helped.

eNitiate | CNN | EU to Regulate | Big Tech Companies | 17 February 2020
eNitiate | CNN | EU to Regulate | Big Tech Companies | 19 February 2020

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