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Africa’s Top Ten countries with fastest internet speeds

April 25, 2012 • Lists, Top Stories

Africa has always been viewed as a continent that isn’t very connected in terms of internet speeds and the number of users – compared to other parts of the world. Research done by Net Index has reaffirmed this belief, and while Africa has some pretty impressive average internet speeds, the continent’s top country only managed to rank 77th on their list of 174 countries from around the world.

Accra, Ghana Skyline (image source: Wikipedia)

“Based on millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net, this index compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe. The value is the rolling mean throughput in Mbps over the past 30 days where the mean distance between the client and the server is less than 300 miles,” Net Index wrote.

While the average rolling mean throughput around the globe is 10.26 Mbps (Megabits per second), Africa is still well below this.

1. Ghana

Ghana ranks 77th on their list, and makes it into the top position for an African country with the average download speed being 4.78 Mbps. Ghana Telecom scored the highest with 5.57 Mbps, while Zain Communications Ltd scored the lowest with 1.69 Mbps. The scores were calculated by “analyzing test data between 25 March and 23 Apr 2012. Tests from 38 225 unique IPs have been taken in this country and of 223 598 total tests, 12 181 are being used for the current Index.”

2. Zimbabwe

In what is a bit of a surprise, South Africa’s neighbour ranked 80th on the global scale, coming in second for the African continent with a download speed of 4.65 Mbps. Substantially less unique IPs  (3 972 ) were taken from Zimbabwe, and 2 463 tests are being used for the current index. Telecontract is on par with countries like Singapore, with speeds of 23.74 Mbps, but Powertel Communications (Zimbabwe) and MWEB Connect are culprits in bringing the average speed down, with 0.92 Mbps and 2.57 Mbps, respectively. Zimbabwe Online had an average speed of 11.83 Mbps.

3. Kenya

From the 62,877 unique IPs that have been taken in Kenya, the country made it into the 84th position on the global list, with download speeds of 4.46 Mbps. Speeds in Nairobi clocked in at 4.79 Mbps, and Mombasa 2.81 Mbps. A total number of 20 ISP were tested for download speeds, and Kenya Education Network came in first with 18.39 Mbps, and Swift Global Kenya Limited scored 12.33 Mbps. The lowest download speeds were recorded by Tangerine, at 0.46 Mbps.

4. Libya

Libya’s average download speed clocked in at 4.27 Mbps, placing it 86 on the global index. General Post and Telecommunication was the only ISP tested, and out of the 17 504 total tests, 300 are being used for the current index.

5. Madagascar

The African island managed to beat out industry heavy-weights such as South Africa and Nigeria with a download speed of 4.25 Mbps, while still making it to number 87 on the entire list. In the capital Antananarivo the average speed was 4.73 Mbps, while ISP Data Telecom Service clocked an average of 3.52 Mbps.

6. South Africa

While many consider South Africa to be at the forefront of internet speeds on the continent, the data has shown otherwise. The country only managed to make it into 114th position on the global scale, resulting in being placed 6th on the African rankings. The country has an average download speed of 2.85Mbps, with UniNet ranking in tops with 15.68 Mbps, MWEB Connect ranking second with 14.35 Mbps, and Comtel Communications taking the third position with 5.43 Mbps.  Neotel was clocked at 4.12 Mbps, with Vodacom at 3.44 Mbps, and Cell C not far behind with 3.26 Mbps. Over four million tests were done with over a million unique IP addresses, and 270 554 are being used for this index.

7. Morocco

Only one position below South Africa, in both the African and global list, Morocco ranked 115th on the greater scale of internet download speeds, with an average of 2.84 Mbps. Fixed Internet Meditel scored the highest download speed with 6.98 Mbps, while Inwi Mobile was bringing up the rear with a rather paltry 0.41 Mbps.

8. Nigeria

Nigeria is considered to be one of the fastest growing countries in terms of internet connectivity, so it comes as a surprise to see the African nation in the 8th place, and 130th when compared to the rest of the world. The country’s average download speed was clocked at 2.41 Mbps, which is almost twice as slow when it’s compared to Ghana’s 4.78 Mbps. Netcom Africa Limited recorded the highest download speed with 22.47 Mbps, Internet Solutions with 4.55 Mbps and VDT Communications Limited with 3.64 Mbps. The slowest download speeds were recorded by Starcomms Limited (0.33 Mbps) and Swift Networks Limited (0.51 Mbps).

9. Rwanda

Only two places below Nigeria on the global index, Rwanda makes it into the second last position in Africa, with 2.15 Mbps. Tests from 2 678 unique IPs have been taken and of 29 241 total tests, 1 631 were used for the index. Artel International scored 4.36 Mbps, with MTN RwandaCell clocking in at 0.80 Mbps.

10. Mozambique

The coastal country of Mozambique managed to make it into the last position on the list of the fastest download speeds in Africa, while sitting at 140th on the global index. Capital Maputo managed to maintain speeds of 2.13 Mbps, but that’s still below the top ISP in the country. TVCABO Mocambique scored 3.59 Mbps and Vodacom Mozambique peaked at 1.86 Mbps. With a total number of seven ISPs tested, the country’s average download speed was 1.96 Mbps.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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62 Responses to Africa’s Top Ten countries with fastest internet speeds

  1. Dimdim Bibah says:

    One thing that should be corrected, internet speed mbps are megabits per seconds, not megabytes.

  2. [...] detailed report go to IT NEWS Africa Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers [...]

  3. a big surprise from Zimbabwe.

  4. Kenya is trying and soon am sure it will make it to the top 50!

  5. Soul Kabweza says:

    Zimbabwe continues to surprise. You left out Angola, which should actually be number 1 so far with 4.81 Mbps (http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/).

    My slight problem with the picture the rankings and the speeds indicated give is that the people doing tests are usually geeks who usually have good connections, giving the impression that speeds are good for the majority.

  6. Nomalanga Nkosi says:

    What was the unit of mesure here? Fixed or GSM. We need to compare apples with apples

    • IT News Africa says:

      Hi Nomalanga. The unit of measure was taken from all the major ISPs from the each country, which included Fixed-line ADSL and GSM. The scores were the average download speed from all the available connections.

  7. According to my rencent experience there are ISPs in Angola providing seeps enough to be ranked among the listed Countries.

  8. Chukwuyere Izuogu says:

    Nigeria 8? I wonder how because it takes like forever for a 10 minutes movie from Youtube to play from this end. On the flip side it means that the rest of Africa is really snail paced slow:-)

  9. Madagascar on #5 at 4Mbps? this must either be a joke, or someone has swapped the results.

  10. [...]  ITNewsAfrica Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in COMPUTERS, NEWS and tagged Africa Internet, Countries, Fast Africa, Internet Speed, Mbps, Speed Africa, technology by g2o2. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  11. Turlough Makubika says:

    Shocked and impressed as the same time.

  12. Pascal Rwizi says:

    Telco, well done, though not for long Kikiki!

  13. John Tarus says:

    Kenya is indeed on the right track and their is even greater potential, am foreseeing Kenya featuring in the top 10 in the next 10 years if vision 2030 is something to go by.

  14. Zah Ndolwane Msundulomunye says:

    hands up to Telecontract.

  15. Blessed Welton says:

    A big applause to Telecontract (TELCO) for making Zimbabwe the 2nd country in Africa with the fastest Internet speeds, beating Powertel and MWEB.21 years in the industry is not a joke.Im Impressed.Hands up to Mr Shadrack Nkala, keep up the good work Sir!

  16. Leonard Ziwenjere says:

    I am a proud Zimbabwean but this is a joke. Based on my experience with Zim, SA and Botswana ISPs I would like to see the Researcher's (Net Index) benchmarks and how they came to their supposed conclusions and rankings. For all its 2nd spot on that ranking one would like to know how much it costs for an average 1 Mbps Dedicated Connection in Zim? I would say way over $1000 per month! In SA same bandwidth will hardly be R2000 per month. What bandwidth capacity does Telecontract have and how much does one have to pay to access that 23.74 Mbps, and where is Liquid Telecom in all this?

    Lastly which ISPs did they test in SA, and what results did they have? Looks like someone did average tests for some countries then went for the peak value for zim!

  17. very good, now please give us the price in SA Rands that people in each of the above mentioned countries have to pay for ADSL-also mention whether they pay double line rental fees like how Telkom charges us here.

  18. Let us contrast this list of top 10 countries with top 5 cities on Facebook on this link: http://wp.me/pEUYr-KL.

  19. Wow….Kenya is 3rd…Great Strides… we need to work on this though… Kuza Biashara

  20. Wow….Kenya is 3rd…Great Strides… we need to work on this though… Kuza Biashara

  21. Hey Bots. we don't even feature!

  22. Tawanda Eric says:

    no surprice from zim I think with the interlectuals in that country its going to be even faster.

  23. Tawanda Eric says:

    no surprice from zim I think with the interlectuals in that country its going to be even faster.

  24. Peter Mills says:

    As a South African, South Africa always thinks they are ahead in most things, It is great to see that Ghana and Zim and other countries are quietly getting on with it and improving without much fanfare. The return of great skills and good qualifications will accelerate this further. So be proud you have much to be proud about.

  25. Ahh were the hell iz zambia? do u have an idea of how fast my Net speed iz Yo Yo! talk abt youtube mahn no buffering or loadin as u may call it my download speeds are insane mahn.

  26. Congrat Ghana, but can do better.

  27. Congrat Ghana, but can do better.

  28. Archford Singende says:

    big up zim SA wakasara wakasara isu tatova macomputer.

  29. Archford Singende says:

    big up zim SA wakasara wakasara isu tatova macomputer.

  30. am so surprised at the Zimbabwe internet connectivity! wah this is unbeleavable.

  31. Ghana is surging higher and higher as a result of the current market competition in the telecommunication industry.

  32. I knew SA would disappoint..

  33. Tendai Sean Joe says:

    Am impressed by Zimbabwe.

  34. Sam Andemariam says:

    I checked the original source link provided in the article and the numbers don't match up. It shows Rwanda first in Africa at 60th globally and Ethiopia second at 80th globally. Please explain how you came up with this ranking and why so much discrepancy in the data?

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