East Africa Leads Africa In Internet Connectivity And Access

East Africa Internet cables
East Africa's Internet Fiber cables at the coast: Image Credit (www.zegabi.com)


East Africa Internet cables
East Africa’s Internet Fiber cables at the coast: Image Credit (www.zegabi.com)

East Africa is now the leading hub in African connectivity with the highest bandwidth per person on the continent. The region also enjoys the fastest internet speeds, and also some of the lowest internet costs, according to a presentation held by Liquid Telecom Kenya CEO Ben Roberts, at the EastAfrica.com conference in Nairobi. Robert said

“Investment in the continent’s connectivity is creating multiple benefits that Kenya demonstrates as a clear example of a virtuous circle, where each investment accelerates the next, with an ever increasing footprint of beneficiaries,”

This is due to the advent of undersea cables at the coasts of East Africa that are making this part of Africa the creation of thousands of Points of Presence by international and national service and content providers. This has in turn lead to faster speeds delivering  and the second cheapest internet costs on the continent. In East Africa Kenya has now emerged in the top position in Africa for internet access.

Mr Roberts further goes on to Explain

“Kenya has achieved a confluence of infrastructure and provision that has positioned it with the highest growth in internet take-up compared to income per capita in Africa. It has effectively become an outlier in its internet take-up, and seen Nairobi join Johannesburg as one of Africa’s two regional internet hubs.”

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East Africa Internet users graph

Internet Society recently commissioned and published a report called  “Lifting Barriers to Internet Development in Africa”, in May last year found that East Africa offers the lowest internet costs on the continent, with Kenya the cheapest in the region as we can see in the info-graphic image below.

East Africa Internet users graph_average broadband price

The report also goes on to highlight that Kenya had outperformed in overcoming a series of infrastructure barriers to arrive at its now emerging internet leadership.

Currently Kenya has more undersea cables than any other nation on the East African coast, with government support having been directed at increasing access and participation by more carriers. The landing of the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy), The East African Marine System (TEAMS), SEACOM and LION high-capacity submarine cables brought a 20-fold increase in international bandwidth in the country to 20Gbit per second.

Kenya also has more licensed international gateways than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa, now at 13, in total, according to the Internet Society.

Cross-border terrestrial networks are also expanding rapidly in Africa. Carriers still largely use intra-African capacity to connect with submarine cable stations for onward transit to Europe, rather than to facilitate the exchange of African traffic, but this is beginning to change.

 “The investment in this key national and local infrastructure is absolutely key to further increasing African internet speeds and reducing the cost of internet use to all users,” said Mr Roberts.