his may come as a surprise to you, but there are millions of African adults who have never used the internet. It’s a sobering reality for Africa which remains the least connected continent in the world, according to information gleaned from various sources.
“Africa has the lowest number of Internet connections—only 22 percent of the continent has access. It also has the largest potential for progress,” the IFC said.
Stakeholders are continuing to make efforts to connect more Africans to the internet. Estimates from both the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union and the World Bank said it would require between $97 billion and $100 billion worth of investments to boost Africa’s internet capacity by 2030.
Already, some local telecom giants like MTN and Safaricom are investing heavily to this effect. In the same vein, some international tech giants like SpaceX and Google have shown interest in helping to upgrade Africa’s internet connectivity through investments.
While this is quite commendable, the only problem is that much of these investments are going to countries where internet connectivity is already relatively high. Take for instance, MTN announced in January 2020 that it would invest the sum of $1.6 billion in Nigeria. SpaceX is also looking at setting up shop in Nigeria. Now, although Nigeria does not necessary have the best internet penetration in Africa, it is among the top 15, with an internet penetration of 51%, according to Statista.
For context, below are 15 African countries with the lowest internet penetration, according to Statista. These countries need all the help they can get in order to improve their connectivity.
- Central African Republic: Has 7.1% internet penetration.
- Eritrea: Has 8% internet penetration.
- Comoros: Has 8.5% internet penetration.
- South Sudan: Has 10.9% internet penetration.
- Somalia: Has 13.7% internet penetration.
- Niger: Has 14.5% internet penetration.
- Burundi: Has 14.6% internet penetration.
- Democratic Republic of Congo: Has 17.6% internet penetration.
- Chad: Has 19% internet penetration.
- Malawi: Has 20.2% internet penetration.
- Liberia: Has 22% internet penetration.
- Madagascar: Has 22.3% internet penetration.
- Guinea: Has 23% internet penetration.
- Mozambique: Has 23.1% internet penetration.
- Ethiopia: Has 25% internet penetration.