Africa’s internet speed remains disappointing

08 September 2023

Despite the entry of Starlink, 5G infrastructure, and other steps to boost internet penetration, a study from Cable shows that Africa still has a slow internet speed.

According to the worldwide broadband speed league table, the sub-Saharan region occupies 12th place (second to last). Interestingly, Northern Africa is in last place. The data was collected within a 12-month period that ended on 30 June 2023. It conducted 1.3 billion speed tests in 220 countries and territories during that time.

Countries in the bottom five of the list include Equatorial Guinea (2.7Mbps), East Timor (2.5Mbps), Syria (2.3Mbps), Yemen (1.79Mbps), and Afghanistan (1.71Mbps).
Based on the findings, SSA has an average download speed of 12.11Mbps. 30+ million speed tests were conducted while 3 million unique IPs were sampled.

Réunion (45.51Mbps, 79th), Rwanda (39.89Mbps, 99th), South Africa (36.46Mbps, 104th), and Burkina Faso (35.64Mbps, 108th) made it to the top half of the table with the best network speeds in the region. The remaining 43 countries occupied the slowest half. Nigeria placed 133rd globally with 20.83Mbps and an average download time of 32 minutes for a 5Gb movie. Among the 43 countries, Equatorial Guinea (2.70Mbps, 216th), Cameroon (3.16Mbps, 213th), Ethiopia (3.54Mbps, and 212th), Burundi (3.70Mbps, 211th) formed the list of the 10 countries with the slowest network speeds.

Meanwhile, North Africa has earned a new title: the region with the slowest network speed. Cable gave it the title seeing as it averaged a speed of 9.81Mbps. Cable conducted 14 million speed tests for North Africa with 4.4 million unique IPs included. Of the six countries surveyed, Morocco (16.49Mbps, 144th) had the region’s best internet speed. Egypt (9.75Mbps, 172nd) and Tunisia (9.60Mbps, 174th) place 2nd and 3rd respectively. Meanwhile, Libya offers the slowest network speed in the region with 6.32 Mbps. It sits in 195th place. Algeria (7.3 Mbps, 187th) and Mauritania (8.95 Mbps, 182nd) offer slightly better speeds.