Kenya has the highest internet penetration rate in Africa with 87.2 percent of the population connected to the internet, ranking from the Internet World Stats (IWS) has shown.
According to IWS, Africa registered a 47.1 percent penetration rate for its collective population of 1.3 billion people.
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) reports that in Quarter one of the 2020/2021 Financial Year (July- September 2020), Kenya recorded a total of 43.45 million internet/data subscriptions, a 4.8 percent increase from the previous quarter.
According to CA, the increase in Kenya’s internet penetration was due to the Covid-19 pandemic which necessitated employees and students to work and study remotely.
“As at the end of the first quarter of 2020/21 financial year, the Internet/data market experienced positive growth with rising dependence on digital platforms for work, learning, healthcare, shopping and entertainment,” said CA.
The regulator expects the rapid growth of internet penetration to maintain its momentum due to an increase in tech innovations in the country, the availability of affordable smart devices and enhanced 3G and 4G connectivity in the country.
“Going digital is now more important than ever with the Covid-19 pandemic changing how we live, work and interact with one another. The uptake of mobile services is expected to rise with the presence of affordable smartphones in the country,” the telecommunications industry regulator said.
According to the IWS report, Libya had the second highest internet penetration rate with 74.2 percent followed by Sychelles with 72.5 percent penetration. Nigeria maintained its lead in the number of internet users at 126 million, but its internet penetration rate stood at 61.2 percent.
Regional stats showed that Rwanda had a 46.2 percent internet penetration rate, followed by 40.4 percent in Uganda,38.7 in Tanzania, 17.8 percent in Ethiopia, 10.7 percent in Somalia and 9.7 percent in Burundi.
Western Sahara has the least internet penetration rate at 4.7 percent.South Sudan came second to last with 7.9 percent penetration followed by Eritrea with 8.3 percent penetration for a population of 3.5 million people.