Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Measuring Africa’s Internet Connectivity

ICTP Science Dissemination Unit has been monitoring and testing internet connectivity to 45 universities in Africa for the past 12 months. Using at tool called PingER Africa, they track real-time network performances in terms of response time (for a succession of pings) and packet loss percentages.

The 45-second video embedded below are their results.

If this type of data interests you, you should read their full report titled, Scientific Measure of Africa’s Connectivity (PDF – .64Mb). It’s an incredibly interesting report on their methods and findings.

The new millennium is beginning to see significant advances in Africa’s quest for greater connectivity. Nevertheless, although a substantial increase in the rate of expansion of networks is taking place, the ITU statistics on teledensity show that although there are 57.3 Internet users per 100 inhabitants in Sweden, 57 in the United States, and 34.7 in Italy, there are just 0.5 in Mali and 0.2 in Niger. The Internet tariff for the same type of connection is 1.1% of the Gross National Income in Sweden and in the United States and 1% in Italy, whereas it is 289% in Mali and 683% in Niger. The same differences are reflected by the Internet performance.

One other organization to pay attention to is AfrISPA (African Internet Service Provider Associations), run by Eric Osiakwan. They have been hard at work trying to build relationships between ISPs in different African nations, building an association big and strong enough to make serious change happen.

(hat tip Riyaz and Brough)


  1. whoa, all the dots are flickering and most in subsaharan africa are clear!

    There is also a network performance project some skunkers are working on. link.

  2. Ive done a post on website traffic for Kenya ,South Africa and Nigeria,Its time we harnessed our potential and presence on the internet but as the above report shows,the issue of connectivity must be addressed.


  3. Hmmm – if I could connect, I could watch the video!!

  4. This is great stuff. I only wish we can be able to do more research into how effective communcations have become as a result of the increase in connectivity.

    For Africa, connectivity means social growth and development. We have to encourage it.

  5. I wish my connection here in Kenya was good enough to watch the video.

  6. hehehe! am just laughing at guys who are worried they didn’t see the video. For me am lucky not many guys are in the cafe am in. So I have watched the whole. We just need change in Africa. Thats just it! thanks for the post. Keep posting.

  7. @connectivity – I was laughing at some of those comments too. There’s nothing like a little irony…

  8. YE HASH, its good to get some irony towards solving such a problem otherwise when we get too serious we might feel disabled already. The digital villages in Kenya could as well increase connectivity than just a few dots here and there in the movie. It is a plan even Google should look forward to. great opportunity.

  9. sauti ya jamii

    April 23, 2008 at 5:16 am

    can you set this ball rolling ………. lets have a discussion about internet without bytes,wires and electricity and take it to its basics.in truth the internet is just words and pictures and that is how poor africans wil be able to acess it .i am in the process of finishing my idea for twiga -making use of signboards and noticeboards to display internet and local results on a daily basis when am through do feuture it thanks

  10. Hello, I am in Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire and i could watch the video without it stopping or freezing, as a matter of fact I frequently visit sites such as Dailymotion, Youtube,monocle,current Nba.com where I watched videos with no problems most of the time… I have a Adsl connection.

  11. @Frederic – I’m not sure why you had such a hard time with this video. I wonder if YouTube would serve it up differently than the normal embed does on my blog. Could be that, or could be just a bad connection.

  12. no HASH frederic says he watched the video if am not wrong. May be he is lucky is at the outermost west africa. Connection couldn’t be so bad there. Hey down here Kenya launched an ICT 3 days expo that would see to internet connection all over the country as digital villages. I intend to do posts on what happened by monday. Please check it out on my site. Otherwise, bye for now.

  13. P.K. Aleander

    May 14, 2008 at 7:28 am

    hm….i have been able to watch the full video, but it took some time before opening/downloading.
    can someone tell me/us the percentage number of Internet users in Africa.

  14. member ojebode

    May 29, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I am happy with your work. I am trying to develop a tool that can benchmark University Internet Network in Nigeria. In my literature review, I want to see what other Universities have done. And also how similar tools are been developed. Can any advice be given to me concerning the project? I see that you compared the countries, that shows they were common indicators to aid in the comparsion.

  15. what cause inernet problem in africa?

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