Uganda ranks 15th in Internet usage across Africa with Kenya leading the pack

internet usage

Around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today. In 1995, it was not even 1%. Over the decades, the internet has become a necessary tool in most people’s daily life; using it to communicate, attend to work, study, among others. The increase in internet usage has taken shape all over the globe.

From the statistics made and detailed by Internet World Stats as of 31st March 2017, Asia has the most number of internet users allover the world with a majority from China; followed by Europe; Latin America; Africa; North America; Middle East; and Oceania, in that order. North America meanwhile has the highest rate of usage; followed by Europe and Oceania.

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In Africa, the rate of internet usage is led by Kenya which has over 77% of her population having access to the internet. This is a result of the government’s efforts in ensuring that all 47 counties of Kenya have access to the internet. Mauritius, Seychelles, Morocco, and South Africa make the top five; while Nigeria comes 7th, Egypt is 13th as Uganda comes 15th. Below is the full ranking, for each of the 55 countries.

AFRICA 2017 POPULATION AND INTERNET USERS STATISTICS FOR 2017
Rank Country Population as of 2017 Internet Users by
31-Mar-2017
Internet penetration percentage
1 Kenya 48,466,928 37,718,650 77.8 %
2 Mauritius 1,281,353 803,896 62.7 %
3 Seychelles 97,539 56,168 57.6 %
4 Morocco 35,241,418 20,207,154 57.3 %
5 South Africa 55,436,360 28,580,290 51.6 %
6 Tunisia 11,494,760 5,800,000 50.5 %
7 Nigeria 191,835,936 93,591,174 48.8 %
8 Cape Verde 533,468 235,183 44.1 %
9 Libya 6,408,742 2,800,000 43.7 %
10 Zimbabwe 16,337,760 6,721,947 41.1 %
11 Gabon 1,801,232 670,197 37.2 %
12 Algeria 41,063,753 15,105,000 36.8 %
13 Egypt 95,215,102 34,800,000 36.5 %
14 Swaziland 1,320,356 436,051 33.0 %
15 Uganda 41,652,938 13,023,114 31.3 %
16 Rwanda 12,159,586 3,724,678 30.6 %
17 Botswana 2,343,981 690,000 29.4 %
18 Ghana 28,656,723 7,958,675 27.8 %
19 Sudan 42,166,323 10,886,813 25.8 %
20 Sao Tome & Principe 198,481 49,686 25.0 %
21 Senegal 16,054,275 3,647,939 22.7 %
22 Angola 26,655,513 5,951,453 22.3 %
23 Cote d’Ivoire 23,815,886 5,230,000 22.0 %
24 Lesotho 2,185,159 444,376 20.3 %
25 Equatorial Guinea 894,464 181,657 20.3 %
26 Namibia 2,568,569 520,000 20.2 %
27 Cameroon 24,513,689 4,909,178 20.0 %
28 Zambia 17,237,931 3,167,934 18.4 %
29 Gambia 2,120,418 373,865 17.6 %
30 Mauritania 4,266,448 714,132 16.7 %
31 South Sudan 13,096,190 2,179,963 16.6 %
32 Djibouti 911,382 150,000 16.5 %
33 Mali 18,689,966 2,212,450 11.8 %
34 Burkina Faso 19,173,322 2,156,498 11.2 %
35 Ethiopia 104,344,901 11,538,000 11.1 %
36 Benin 11,458,611 1,232,940 10.8 %
37 Malawi 18,298,679 1,670,839 9.1 %
38 Liberia 4,730,437 395,063 8.4 %
39 Congo 4,866,243 400,000 8.2 %
40 Comoros 825,920 60,000 7.3 %
41 Guinea 13,290,659 950,000 7.1 %
42 Togo 7,691,915 545,020 7.1 %
43 Tanzania 56,877,529 3,700,000 6.5 %
44 Mozambique 29,537,914 1,834,337 6.2 %
45 Somalia 11,391,962 660,000 5.8 %
46 Madagascar 25,612,972 1,300,000 5.1 %
47 Central African Rep. 5,098,826 246,432 4.8 %
48 Sierra Leone 6,732,899 310,000 4.6 %
49 Western Sahara 596,021 27,000 4.5 %
50 Burundi 11,936,481 526,372 4.4 %
51 Guinea-Bissau 1,932,871 84,000 4.3 %
52 Congo, Dem. Rep. 82,242,685 3,101,210 3.8 %
53 Chad 14,965,482 387,063 2.6 %
54 Niger 21,563,607 439,164 2.0 %
55 Eritrea 5,481,906 71,000 1.3 %

The stats show that Uganda comes after Kenya in East Africa, with Rwanda third from a close margin. Tanzania and Burundi are a distance away with a lower rate of usage.

Uganda’s internet usage has been on the rise since the start of the decade, with the increased adoption of smartphones. Here is a quick review of the growth over the years.

YEAR Users Population Penetration percentage
2000 40,000 24,400,000 0.1 %
2006 500,000 28,574,909 1.7 %
2007 750,000 30,262,610 2.5 %
2008 2,000,000 31,367,972 6.4 %
2010 3,200,000 33,398,682 9.6 %
2016 11,924,927 38,319,241 31.1 %