12 African Nations With The Highest Internet Contribution To GDP

By Peter Pedroncelli AFKI Original Published: July 26, 2017, 6:07 pm
Internet contribution - The Internet contributes a great deal to Senegal's economy. Photo - African Business MagazineThe Internet contributes a great deal to Senegal's economy. Photo - African Business Magazine

The internet continues to be a driver of business and economies the world over, and the internet contribution to gross domestic product is proving to be an interesting barometer of growth.

According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute, the internet’s contribution to the gross domestic product accounted on average for 3.4 percent of GDP for the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, the United States) and Republic of Korea, Sweden, Brazil, China and India.

While in Russia, for example, the internet accounts for only 0.8 percent of GDP, Sweden has an estimated contribution to GDP of 6.3 percent, showing the vast difference among developed nations.

In a more recent McKinsey report, Africa’s average internet contribution to GDP was only 1.1 percent in 2012, or about half the level seen in other emerging economies.

This has positive implications for the potential growth of e-commerce and internet-based businesses on the continent.

Here are the 12 African nations with the highest internet contribution to GDP.

Sources: Intracen, TechCentral, McKinseyReport, VenturesAfrica.

Egyptian developers take part in the Facebook Developer Challenge. Photo - American University of Cairo

The internet contributes more to Algeria’s GDP than that of Egypt. Photo – American University of Cairo


Entering the list at 12th with an internet contribution to GDP of 1.1 percent, Algeria is ahead of fellow North African state Egypt, with a contribution of exactly one percent, as well as Ethiopia, with a figure of 0.6 percent.

Prof. Nii Narku Quaynor is known as the ‘father of the internet in Africa’. Photo: ghana.com


Ghana’s economy is fast growing and varied, with the internet now responsible for 1.1 percent of the gross domestic product in the country. This is equal to the figure for Algeria, but more than Egypt, Russia and Mexico.

SAP Expands In Portuguese-Speaking Africa

Kids in Angola are appreciating the effect that the internet has on their lives. Photo: missionnewswire.org


Angola can thank the internet for 1.2 percent of their gross domestic product, with a growing e-commerce culture and improving internet infrastructure contributing positively to the Portuguese-speaking country’s economy.

Cameroon’s internet shutdown

Group selfie in Cameroon. Photo: BBC


Cameroon is another of the West African nations with a fairly high internet percentage contribution to GDP, with the McKinsey study suggesting that 1.2 percent of gross domestic product in the country is courtesy of the internet.

Computer class in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Photo: africa.com

Cote D’Ivoire

Ahead of Cameroon by 0.1 of a percent, the economic shining star of Africa, with an 8 percent growth rate, is Cote D’Ivoire. The Ivorians seem to be experiencing incredible growth in all sectors, and their contribution to GDP from the internet is estimated at around 1.3 percent.

Mondo Ride in Tanzania relies on the internet. (Image: plus.google.com)


Tied with Cote D’Ivoire in this list, Tanzania is one of East Africa’s top performers in terms of the internet, and as a result, the country’s GDP can lay claim a to 1.3 percent contribution to gross domestic product from the internet.

African real estate markets

She Leads Africa business incubation hub in South Africa Photo: sheleadsafrica.org

South Africa

South Africa may have one of the highest internet penetration rates in Africa, but that does not translate to the highest internet contribution to GDP, with only around 1.4 percent of gross domestic product directly related to the internet, putting South Africa sixth on this list.

Mastercard and NetPlus deliver cashless e-commerce in Nigeria. Photo - Payments Afrika

E-commerce as an industry continues to grow in Nigeria. Photo – Payments Afrika


Despite Nigeria being one of the continent’s leading economies, internet only contributes 1.5 percent of GDP in the country, with oil still topping the list of industries bolstering the Nigerian economy.

Internet startups are finding place and purpose in Mozambique. Photo: IDEARIO


While Mozambique is known for oil, gas and tourism as major sectors, the internet cannot be ignored in the Southern African country, with internet’s contribution to the gross domestic product amounting to 1.6 percent, 0.1 percent more than that of fellow emerging market, Brazil.

Moroccan Exports

The internet contributes a great deal to the Moroccan economy. (Photo: Morocco World News)


Third on this list is Morocco, with the North African country benefiting from internet contributing in the region of 2.3 percent of gross domestic product, showing a significant contribution versus North Africa and the continent as a whole, with only two countries enjoying higher percentages.

Alibaba founder - Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, has been impressed with his visit to Kenya. Photo - Twitter

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, was impressed with Kenyan internet speeds. Photo – Twitter


Kenya continues to thrive as a hub of internet startups and innovation, and as a result, the internet is responsible for 2.9 percent of the Kenyan gross domestic product, which makes the East African nation the second highest in the entire continent. Perhaps this is why Alibaba founder Jack Ma is considering an investment in the country.

The Internet contributes a great deal to Senegal's economy. Photo - African Business Magazine

The Internet contributes a great deal to Senegal’s economy. Photo – African Business Magazine


Boosted by an increase in private spending on infrastructure and higher internet consumption, Senegal tops the list of the African countries where the internet provides the greatest contribution to GDP, with an astonishing 3.3 percent of the Senegalese gross domestic product down to the internet.

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