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Recent poll finds majority of urban dwelling Africans access the Internet

October 5, 2012  »  Mobile & StatisticsNo Comment

An October 2012 McKinsey & Co. poll of 15,000 Africans across a dozen nations lists some impressive findings. The survey, “Understanding the African Digital Consumer“, finds the majority of urban dwelling Africans had used the Internet in the past month. Moreover, 25% accessed the Internet daily – mostly to social network. Although the survey only covers 19 cities, it still gives a solid representation of how Africans in the largest cities are accessing the Internet.

Overall:

  • 51% have accessed the Internet in the past month
  • 25% use the Internet daily

Method of access:

  • 54% own a smartphone or web-enabled device
  • 16% use the Internet daily via mobile
  • 13% use the Internet daily via PC, laptop, or tablet

Content:

  • 57% used the mobile Internet to access Facebook or Twitter
  • 38% watched at least one music video
  • 13% took part in e-commerce on a computer; 10% on mobile

Kenya:

  • 95% of Kenyans surveyed own a smartphone or web-enabled device
  • 43% access the Internet every day (Senegal 33%)
  • 29% use the Internet for at least 10 hours per week (Morocco 27%)

The verdict: urban Africans are becoming sophisticated Internet users, but there are still opportunities to help more urbanites come online. Those already online are keen on social networking but have less familiarity with e-commerce, for example. Regulators and operators should attempt to lower the barrier to entry for the remaining 49% who haven’t used the Internet in the past month.

Intermediate data source: Warc, “African consumers get online,” 5 October 2012.