Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


North Africa has world's slowest Internet

Article Image
North Africa has the world's slowest broadband as a collective region followed by sub-Saharan Africa which is the second slowest in the world.

That's according to's Worldwide Broadband Speed League 2021 data which shows Africa is seriously lagging other regions. The data comes from over 1.1 billion speed tests taken in the 12 months up to June 30, 2021, and spanning 224 countries.

Northern Africa recorded the lowest overall Internet speeds with a regional average of 5.68 Mbit/s. The fastest region was Western Europe with an average speed of 90.56 Mbit/s. All of North Africa's six qualifying countries were in the bottom half of the table.

Mauritania was 203rd out of 224 countries with a speed of 2.54 Mbit/s. Algeria ranked 194th at 3.08 Mbit/s. Libya's speed of 3.73 Mbit/s put it in 188th place, while Egypt's 6.94 Mbit/s put it in 162nd place. Tunisia was a bit better in 153rd place, with a speed of 7.46 Mbit/s. Morocco offered the fastest speed in the region of 10.33 Mbit/s, ranking it 129th globally.

The research found that 31 of the 50 slowest-performing countries are located in sub-Saharan or North Africa. Only one of the top 50 fastest-performing countries was African: Réunion Island, in 50th place.

Overall, sub-Saharan Africa's average speed of 6.56 Mbit/s was faster than North Africa's average, but three of the bottom-five countries on the list were in sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea. measured 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 46 of which found themselves in the lowest 50% of countries in the league table. Going against the trend somewhat were Réunion (43.62 Mbit/s, 50th), South Africa (19.94 Mbit/s, 90th), and Madagascar (16.28 Mbit/s, 105th).

Meanwhile, Ethiopia (1.20 Mbit/s, 222nd), Guinea Bissau (1.24 Mbit/s, 221st), Equatorial Guinea (1.30 Mbit/s, 220th), South Sudan (1.40 Mbit/s, 218th), Djibouti (1.46 Mbit/s, 216th), and Somalia (1.59 Mbit/s, 215th) all fell within the bottom ten countries in the world for network speed.

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at, said that although the countries occupying the bottom end of the table still suffer from extremely poor speeds, 2021's figures do indicate that the situation is improving.

Globally, average Internet speeds also continue to rise. The average global broadband speed measured during 2017 was just 7.40 Mbit/s but last year it rose to 24.83 Mbit/s.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Technology photo created by freepik -

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Microsoft invests to help African startup growth

US-based software company Microsoft is investing and partnering to accelerate the growth of 10,000 African startups over the next five years.


SA minister says AI institute should execute ideas

South Africa's Communications and Digital Technologies minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, has officially launched the country's Artificial Intelligence Institute.

More Innovation hub

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives


Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.


Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up