Insights into the Internet in Africa

April 4, 2012

As more and more people start using the internet in Sub-Saharan Africa, it becomes ever more important to understand the online population.

Over the past two years, Google has been working with market research firm Basis Research Ltd to understand people’s behaviors and attitudes when it comes to the internet.  We interviewed over 13,000 people in urban centres of 6 key African countries – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda – to understand how and why people use the internet, what prevents non-users from coming online, and much more.

After completing the study, we wanted to make sure that this data was publicly accessible, easy-to-understand, and to ensure that website visitors could focus on the information that is most useful to them.  That’s why we’ve created filters for country, age, gender and internet usage level, which you can select with just a click.

InsightsAfrica ( is a free, publicly available tool which anyone can visit to explore online penetration rates, understand usage patterns amongst the online population, and learn about the barriers to coming online.  Through InsightsAfrica, you can learn what would encourage young Kenyan women to come online more often via mobile phone, locations where Senegalese men most often access the internet via their computer, how long South African men spend online via mobile during an average session, the awareness of online activities amongst non-users in Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria, and much more.

To create your own customized dataset, simply access InsightsAfrica, select a category from either the top drop-down menu or by hovering over the multi-coloured icons.  Once you are viewing a particular category of information, you can use the lefthand menu to focus on specific demographic groups, change the layout of the graphs or download, save and share your graphs.

We hope InsightsAfrica helps you understand the growing power of the internet in Africa.

Posted by Karina Przyjemski, Research Manager, Market Insights, Google