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South Africa vs The Continent: Countries with the Fastest Internet Speeds in 2020

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According to the Worldwide broadband speed league table 2019, the world’s average when it comes to internet speeds is 11.3Mbps. This is a 20% rise from the previous year’s 9.1Mbps and a further increase from 2017’s 7.4Mbps.

While this increase may be encouraging, it still doesn’t paint the full picture of the actual situation, especially in Africa. Actually, only one African country is above the World’s average and no, it’s not South Africa.

Shifting our focus closer home, Africa relies heavily on wireless 3G and 4G networks for internet connectivity as the continent’s fibre cable connection is very low which in turn means that a good number of African countries (6 to be exact) have an average speed of below 1Mbps.

South Africa vs The Continent

In South Africa, the average internet speed is 8.4Mbps, which puts the country at position 75 globally but only second in the continent, tailing Madagascar who has a whooping average of 22.57Mbps thanks to its vast fibre network.

South Africa’s population of 59.3 million people has an internet penetration of 55% since about 32.6 million people have access to the internet. Interestingly though, out of the 32M, 21.2 million internet users use Facebook, making the social media platform the most popular one in the country.

We have previously looked at South Africa’s cheapest fibre connections, which revealed that the country’s cheapest 100Mbps fibre connection costs R999.

In comparison to other developed African countries, South Africa’s internet (at least on average) is better than Kenya’s, Rwanda’s, and Nigeria’s which come in at positions 3rd, 6th, and 24th respectively.

Internet Speeds in Africa 2020

CountryPositionSpeedsInternet Penetration
Madagascar3322.57Mbps9.5%
South Africa758.40Mbps55%
Kenya847.62Mbps87.2%
Mauritius1085.02Mbps67%
Namibia1343.39Mbps53%
Rwanda1353.34Mbps46.2%
Cabo Verde1363.31Mbps63.3%
Uganda1383.22Mbps40.4%
Ghana1393.20Mbps37.8%
Zambia1403.13Mbps53.7%
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