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Connectivity

North Africa has world's slowest Internet

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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 Cable.co.uk'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.

Cable.co.uk 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 Cable.co.uk, 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.

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*Top image source: Technology photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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