Nigeria, recording more than 43 million Internet users, has surpassed Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Kenya as the largest Internet market in Africa.

Nigeria, recording more than 43 million Internet users, has surpassed Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Kenya as the largest Internet market in Africa.

According to AN International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report, over 43 million Nigerians have access to the Internet, surpassing even South Africa, Africa's largest economy. Almost 40 percent of all Internet traffic from Africa comes from Nigeria.

Nigeria is now both Africa's largest mobile and Internet market. Nigeria takes over from Egypt and Morocco, which have been among the highest Internet user rates in the region, with Egypt having about 12.6 million people with access to the Internet while Morocco has 10.3 million.

Facebook, Google and Yahoo are the top three most visited Web destinations by Nigerians. News of the report presents great opportunity for advertisers seeking to engage consumers across Nigeria using the Internet.

"Nigeria telecom sector is progressing because the Nigerian Communication Commission is very effective. Most regulators in Africa are not effective when it come to policy implementations," said Amos Kalunga, a telecom analyst from the Computer Society of Zambia.

Reacting to the report that Nigeria is Africa's largest Internet market, the Kenyan ministry of Communication said it was looking at conducting a countrywide sensitization campaign in an effort to increase the number of Internet users.

Despite the arrival of the EASSY, TEAMS and Seacom fiber-optic cables, the penetration of the Internet in Kenya, especially in rural areas, is still very low. The Kenyan permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Bitange Ndemo, attributes the low Internet penetration to lack of education about the Internet, the continuing high cost of connectivity.

Kenya, along with Algeria, only has about 3.5 million Internet users.

Service providers as well as cable companies have indicated that it would take about three years before Internet users experience a drop in connection rates as cable companies have to balance the need to recoup investment in fiber-optic cables with the ability to offer competitive pricing.

 

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