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Facts and Figures

Quick Facts on ICT in Africa


    Press Release
    Video Message from World Bank President Zoellick
    Connect Africa Summit in Rwanda (Oct 29-30, 2007)
    World Bank Group Supported ICT Initiatives in Africa
    Facts and Figures
     Video Clips on YouTube
    Connecting Africa Brochure [PDF]
    Global ICT Department
    World Bank in Africa
    IFC in Africa

Contribution to Economy
  • The total revenue generated by the ICT sector in SSA is equal to 5-7% of the total GDP of a country. This is higher than any other region in the world.
  • In the decade between 1995-2005, US$25 billion was invested in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly by private operators and investors – resulting in the phenomenal expansion of networks.

Investment in Mobile

  • Investment into the ICT sector in SSA has been primarily into mobile businesses. As a result, coverage of these networks has increased rapidly. It is estimated that at least 56% of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is now living within range of mobile communications networks. This ranges from 10% in Ethiopia to 80-90% in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi and 100% in South Africa.
  • The African mobile market has been the fastest-growing market of all regions, expanding at twice the rate of the global market.
  • There are now at least five times more mobile than fixed-telephone subscribers in Africa.
  • By 2006, there were more than 110 million mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa. This means that approximately 17 percent of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa has a mobile phone, up from below 1 percent in the 1990s.


  • The price of Internet access is significantly higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions of the world. For example, the monthly cost of dial-up Internet access in Sub-Saharan Africa is approximately US$50 per month compared with US$12 per month in South Asia.
  • A basic 256 Kbps broadband connection in East Africa costs US$250-350 per month, compared to US$30 in Mexico, US$43 in India, and US$50 in Philippines.
  • High-speed Internet penetration rate is below 1 percent in Africa, compared to close to 30 percent in some high-income countries.

Market Competition

  • Network coverage is growing rapidly as companies invest and networks expand. A recent study carried out by the World Bank indicated that, if fully-effective market competition were to be established between mobile operators in Sub-Saharan Africa, networks would expand to cover up to 90% of the region’s population.

Did you know that...

  • The World Bank Group is the largest multi-lateral financier and provider of policy advice in the field of ICT in developing countries?
  • Over the past years, the World Bank Group has provided more than US$3 billion of funding in over 80 countries through its three financing arms; the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD or World Bank), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)?
  • World Bank has supported reforms in over 80 client governments and provided approximately US$750 million of loans for ICT related projects. This excludes lending projects that partially involve ICT applications but impact directly on other sectors such as health, education, trade, and finance?
  • Over the past decade, the World Bank has provided advice and technical assistance on sector reform in 30 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including seven post-conflict countries?
  • Since its first investment in the cellular sector in Africa in 1991, IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group has mobilized around US$1 billion for cellular operators in Africa, about half of which was arranged with other financial institutions?
  • MIGA, as an agency that provides political risk insurance to foreign investments in developing countries, has supplied an additional US$700 million to the ICT sector through private investment guarantees?
  • ICT is one of the best performing sectors in the World Bank Group’s portfolio, both in terms of returns and development impact?


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