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North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa struggle to keep pace with global internet speeds

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Africa , 15 Sep 2021

The DRC, Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia are among countries with the slowest broadband internet speeds, while North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa are ranked bottom of table for connectivity speeds, according to new data from Cable UK.

In a regional ranking, incorporating 224 countries, North Africa was judged to have the slowest average internet connection speeds at 5.6Mbps. In this region, Mauritania, in 203rd position, has broadband speeds of 2.54Mbps for the year period to the end of June, followed by Algeria at 3.08Mbps.

Connection speeds in Libya averaged 3.73Mbps while Morocco, with 10.33Mbps, is ranked in 129th position. Tunisia is ranked 153rd at 7.46Mbps while Egypt, with 6.9Mbps is ranked 162nd.

The report also measured 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (the second slowest region with 6.5Mbps average broadband connectivity).

According to the report, 46 of the 49 ranked Sub-Saharan African countries “found themselves in the lowest 50% of countries” with the slowest internet speeds in the world.

Ethiopia - which has suffered internet shutdowns, is among the countries with the slowest connection speeds at 1.20Mbps and is ranked in 222nd position.

Guinea Bissau, with connection speeds of 1.24Mbps is ranked 221st while Equatorial Guinea (ranked 220th) has internet speeds of 1.30Mbps.

South Sudan, rocked by years of natural disasters and civil unrest, connects to the internet with slow speeds of 1.40Mbps and is ranked in position 218. It is followed by 216th placed Djibouti whose speeds average 1.46Mbps and war-torn Somalia with internet connection speeds of 1.59Mbps ranked in position 215.

“Going against the trend somewhat were South Africa (19.94Mbps, ranked 90th position), and Madagascar (16.28Mbps, in 105th place on the rankings),” says the report.

There is an increase in investment in datacentres, fibre optic cable infrastructure and connection points, as well as undersea cable linkages across key connection hubs including DRC, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

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