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.

Digital Inclusion

Africa Still Below 30% Internet Penetration: Report

Article Image

Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity is picking up and the pace of 3G and 4G network rollouts has been accelerating but there's still a long way to go to get Africa's Internet penetration levels up the the global average. (See Africa’s FTTH Boom is Here: Report and Africa Nears 1B Mobile Subs Landmark, Says Ovum.)

According to Internet World Stats for Africa in 2016, there were an estimated 340,783,342 Internet users in Africa as of 30 June 2016. That equates to a penetration rate of just 28.7% compared to a world average of 50.1%.

Furthermore, Africa accounts for just 9.3% of the world's Internet users, even through the continent as a whole contributes 16.2% of the world's population.

The figures also indicated there were 146.6 million Facebook users across Africa as of the end of June 2016, compared with 1.53 billion across the rest of the world.

There are, of course, a number of initiatives aiming to improve Africa's digital connectivity. The latest is a Mozambican technology start-up company Kamaleon, which has developed a shared platform called the Community Tablet ('Tablet Comunitário'). It is a "solar-powered mobile computer with touch screen displays and virtual keyboards built in on a trailer to provide Internet access to remote areas," according to Kamaleon.

The company, which only launched in November, says it "aims to promote digital inclusion and a knowledge-based society in Africa," starting in Mozambique, which has "an astounding 24 million people with no Internet connection," notes the startup. "Kamaleon is on a mission to close the digital divide and empower more people in Africa to engage in the digital economy and its educational benefits," it adds.

— Anne Morris, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


MTN tackles SA power woes with wind & solar hybrid project

MTN South Africa has launched an integrated wind and solar renewable energy generation project as part of its Net Zero efforts.


Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


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.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up