The African country with the fastest average fixed broadband speed tops the speeds in many developed countries including the U.K. and Australia.
Despite this, internet speeds in Africa still generally lag behind many countries in the developed world.
The worldwide broadband speed league, with data collected by Cable.co.uk, ranks 207 countries for average fixed-line broadband internet speeds.
Internet access and speed have been identified by the World Bank as key drivers of economic growth, job creation, and social inclusion. Faster internet access can lead to better job opportunities and improved business efficiency.
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Many people would expect Africa’s two biggest economies to have the fastest internet speeds, but that is not the case. Neither South Africa nor Nigeria is in the top spot on this list. In fact, Nigeria does not make the top 10 this year.
These are the 10 African countries with the fastest broadband speeds.
Uganda makes the African top 10 list for fastest broadband speeds ahead of Ghana and Zambia with average speeds of around 3.22Mbps — slightly better than Ghana’s 3.20Mbps and Zambia’s 3.13Mbps. Uganda’s current speeds mean that the average user would be able to download a typical 5GB high-definition movie in around three hours and 32 minutes.
Cape Verde has the ninth-fastest broadband speeds in Africa but overall the islands off the west coast of Africa place 136th in the world with average speeds of around 3.31Mbps. Slow improvements in the speeds available in Cape Verde have seen the country drop below Ecuador, Colombia and Paraguay from 115th position in 2018.
Rwanda is used to making tech-related lists for its incredible progress in recent years. At No. 8 in terms of African broadband speeds, the East African country is 135th globally with average speeds of 3.34Mbps. The country has slowly improved average speeds in the last few years, increasing it from 2.64Mbps in 2018.
While Namibia’s broadband speed has progressed in recent years, it has not increased at the same level as other countries globally, leading to a steady decline in its ranking. From 126 in 2017, it fell to 131 in 2018 and 134 this year with speeds of around 3.39Mbps which would allow an internet user in Namibia to download a typical 5GB high-definition movie in around three hours and 21 minutes.
One of two North African countries on this list, Tunisia has fallen down this list over the last two years. In 2017 the country was No. 5 in Africa and 88th overall with speeds of around 3.50Mbps, but even though internet speeds have increased in Tunisia, they have not increased as much as in other countries, leading to average speeds of 4.64Mbps and an overall ranking of 114 in the world.
The island country of Mauritius has made great improvements over the past year, doubling the average broadband speeds available in the country. In 2018, the country responsible for Africa’s current fifth-fastest internet speeds was only ranked 139th globally with speeds of 2.39Mbps. Mauritius is now 108th in the world in this particular ranking thanks to infrastructure improvements providing increased speeds of around 5.02Mbps.
In 100th place globally, Morocco has risen in the ranks five places from the 2018 version of this list. The North African country is the fourth fastest in Africa, thanks to average broadband speeds of 5.48Mbps. Based on that data, Morocco has faster internet speeds than Qatar, Turkey and Brazil.
Kenya has lost ground in the lastest worldwide broadband speed league, dropping from second place into third due to a drop in speeds for the Kenyans while the two fastest countries have advanced further. Kenya’s global ranking is No. 84, down from 64 in 2018 and 51 the year before. While speeds in Kenya were at 10.11Mbps in 2018, those speeds have fallen to 7.62 in this year’s data.
The latest research shows that South Africa’s average download speed is 8.40Mbps and the time it takes to download a typical 5GB high-definition movie is one hour and 21 minutes. That means that South Africa has the second-fastest broadband speeds on the continent, improving from third place in 2018.
Madagascar has the fastest internet in Africa, clocking in at an average speed of 22.57Mbps, placing it 33rd globally and ahead of developed countries like the U.K. and Australia. This is thanks to the underwater Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System that supplies the island’s urban centers with fiber broadband speeds, according to Cable.co.uk. Madagascar had Africa’s fastest internet in 2018 too, after taking the title from Kenya in the same year.