12 African Nations With The Highest Number Of Internet Users

By Peter Pedroncelli AFKI Original Published: May 29, 2017, 7:44 am
Internet Users - African governments commit to affordable internetSouth African students access the internet at one of the free Wi-Fi hotspots in Tshwane, South Africa. Photo: rekordcenturion

Internet penetration continues to be a challenge in Africa, but there are success stories throughout the continent, with the number of internet users growing consistently.

East Africa is a positive story within this context, with a few countries from this region appearing in the list, while the continent’s biggest economy, as well as the most developed economy, feature prominently on the list.

Despite having a total population of around 100 million people, and therefore at a significant advantage as far as numbers of internet users are concerned, Ethiopia does not feature in the top 12 of this list.

Here are the 12 African nations with the highest number of internet users.

Sources: Quartz, Statista, HTXT, Ubiquity, CNBCAfrica.

African education is ripe for a digital revolution

#RuzivoDigitalLearning platform registration in progress at Kensington Primary School, Bulawayo. Photo: Twitter


Of the 15.6 million people living in Zimbabwe, 6.76 million are active internet users, whether accessing the internet via their mobile phones or on computers, allowing the southern African nation the distinction of being 12th on this list.

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A new generation of children are born into a more connected world in Senegal. Photo: blogs.blackberry.com


West African nation Senegal sneaks into this list with 7.26 million users present in the country, but when one considers that the total population in Senegal is around 15.13 million, the penetration statistics become more positive.

Mondo Ride in Tanzania is a company that relies on internet access. (Image: plus.google.com)


The first East African nation of a few on this list, Tanzania is home to 7.59 million internet users, enabling internet connected businesses and startups to grow and thrive in the country.

Ghana’s cocoa processing requires high-tech skills and internet access. photo: World Bank.


Coming in at ninth on the list of the highest number of internet users in Africa, Ghana is making huge strides in terms of internet penetration. As a result, Ghana now has around 7.96 million internet users in the country.

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Sudan is on the list, with almost 11 million Sudanese connected to the internet. Photo: phys.org


In Sudan 10.89 million people have access to internet, enabling them to communicate, work and entertain themselves through various connected devices such as computers, phones and tablets.

Hive Colab incubator, Uganda. Photo: Ciril Jazbec/Wired.co.uk


With 11.92 million out of around 39 million Ugandans able to actively access the internet on a daily basis, Uganda is another East African country on this particular list. Mobile is big business in Uganda, and is the reason for fairly wide-spread internet access.

A total of 15 million Algerians have access to the internet. Thinkstock


North Africa features prominently on this list, and Algeria is in sixth place as far as the African countries with the most internet users is concerned. In Algeria, 15 million people have access to the world wide web via computers, mobiles or other devices.

Morocco's Cadi Ayyad University, moroccoworldnews.com

Morocco’s Cadi Ayyad University gives students access to the internet. Photo: moroccoworldnews.com


Number five on this list is the second highest North African nation, Morocco, with around 20.21 million users on the internet. With a total population of only around 34 million, that translates to access for almost two thirds of Moroccans.

Internet Access

Solar Powered Internet school in South Africa. Photo: Samsung Electronics/blogs.voanews.com

South Africa

A total of 28.58 million internet users are actively online in South Africa, with around 90 percent of these on mobile, according to the latest research. South Africans spend an average of five hours online, including work-related activities.

Mobile money services are popular in Kenya. Image: www.itwebafrica.com


Kenya’s success as a market leader in terms of mobile payments is down to two things, mobile penetration and wide-spread internet, with almost three fourths of the country connected to the web as a total of 32 million internet users.

Egypt’s App Factory, launched as part of 4Afrika. Photo: Microsoft/techrepublic.com


As of March 2017, Egypt was the African nation with the second highest number of internet users, and the highest in North Africa. The Egyptians had 34.8 million internet users, over a third of the country’s 91.5 million estimated population.

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Nigeria’s internet penetration allows for online businesses to thrive. Photo: Tuteria


As Africa’s most populous nation, with around 182 million people in the country, Nigeria is the African state with the highest number of internet users on the continent, with 91.88 million people connected to the web, or around half of the population.

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