Social media statistics in Africa: a study on the connectivity of the continent

The lifestyle of the average person evolves, one way or another, with more or less important and / or sudden changes. Even more, in these times when the Covid-19 continues to be rife, most of the inhabitants of the world are still cloistered between four walls (confinement requires!). This life change is also affecting our digital habits. Almost all of us turn to our digital devices (cell phone, tablet, computer, etc.), for various reasons. There is teleworking or a simple desire to chase away boredom. This observation is global, whatever the continent. Africa is no exception.

However, the continent has, for the last decade, posted steadily growing numbers when it comes to connectivity to the internet, or even to social networks, to be more specific.

Global growth in digital adoption

According to the Digital 2020 Report written by We Are Social and Hootsuite, the figures to remember about digital in 2020 are as follows:

  • The number of internet users has exceeded 4.5 billion people in the past twelve months. This corresponds to an increase of 7.1% (301 million new users).
  • On the other hand, we are now 3.81 billion people using social networks, an increase of 8.7% since April 2019 (304 million more new users). In addition, there is a high chance that global social media usage will reach the 50% penetration threshold before the end of 2020.
  • 5.16 billion people use a mobile phone: an increase of 128 million people (up 2.5%) compared to 2019

Towards a more connected word

76% of Internet users (aged between 16 and 64) spend more time than usual on their mobile phones, compared to 45% on their laptops, not to mention the 34% glued to their small screen. It should be noted that the latter, for the most part, used smart televisions as well as streaming devices.

We spend around 3.7 hours of our time on mobile. Half of this time is spent on social networks and our messaging. Speaking of social networks, contrary to what one might think following the various scandals that have punctuated his life over the past 5 years, Facebook remains the leader (we would talk about 2.5 billion monthly active users). Otherwise, TikTok also made a lot of talk in 2019. TikTok has 800 million active users of which 60% are in China. It is ranked 6th application in the world ranking, behind Whatsapp, Facebook, WeChat and Instagram.

Africa: an increasingly connected continent

The key figures to remember about African digital are as follows:

  • In Africa 1.08 billion people own a cell phone, or more than 57 million people compared to last year (up 5.6%).
  • Out of the billion African inhabitants, only 453.2 million people are internet users: a growth of 10% (or 42 million more users).
  • Of these internet users, we have 217.5 million who use social media. Compared to 2019, we have 23 million more users (+ 12%). In general, the penetration

rate of social networks is relatively low (12%).

# 1 Central Africa

The internet penetration rate in Central Africa is 22%. Only 6% of the population uses social networks. The most popular of these is Facebook.

# 2 Southern Africa

The internet penetration rate in Southern Africa is 60%. 36% of its population uses social networks. Whatsapp Messenger is the most used network.

# 3 North Africa

The internet penetration rate in North Africa is 53%. 39% of the population uses social networks. Internet users prefer Facebook.

# 4 East Africa
The internet pene

tration rate in East Africa is 23%. As in Central and North Africa, Facebook is the most popular social network with Internet users. However, just 8% of the population makes use of social media.

# 5 West Africa
The internet penetration rate in West Africa is 36%. Whatsapp Messenger is quite popular in this region. Social networks are used by 13% of the population.

In short, we can realize that digital technology is gaining more and more ground in our lives. Even more so now in this time of health crisis, forcing most of us to stay at home. Moreover, it is easy to realize that Africa is not being left behind. The figures could not be clearer: digital technology is slowly being given a prominent place in the life of every African. Even if for the moment, Africans seem to use it more as an accessory than anything else. This assertion is only valid with a few new users, however. For a growing segment, the internet is now becoming a source of income, skills acquisition and development, and even business development.

What about you?



About The Author

CEO AfrikaTech

Comme beaucoup de personnes j’ai connu l’Afrique à travers des stéréotypes : l’Afrique est pauvre, il y a la guerre, famine… Je suis devenu entrepreneur pour briser ces clichés et participer à la construction du continent. J’ai lancé plusieurs entreprises dont Kareea (Formation et développement web), Tutorys (Plate-forme de e-learning), AfrikanFunding (Plate-forme de crowdfunding). Après un échec sur ma startup Tutorys, à cause d’une mauvaise exécution Business, un manque de réseau, pas de mentor, je suis parti 6 mois en immersion dans l’écosystème Tech au Sénégal. J’ai rencontré de nombreux entrepreneurs passionnés, talentueux et déterminés. A mon retour sur Paris je décide de raconter leur histoire en créant le média AfrikaTech. L'objectif est de soutenir les entrepreneurs qui se battent quotidiennement en Afrique en leur offrant la visibilité, les connaissances, le réseautage et les capitaux nécessaires pour réussir. L'Afrique de demain se construit aujourd'hui ensemble. Rejoignez-nous ! LinkedIn:

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