Facebook statistics in Africa

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  • 7 years ago
  • Posted: July 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

How many Facebook users do we have in Africa? I have done an estimate for Facebook users in major countries of interest (to me) in Africa namely Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Botswana, and Mauritius. To compare with countries renowned for Facebook usage, and also to world leaders in population, I have also included estimates in USA, UK, China, and India.


Let’s start with Kenya. As of this morning, Facebook.com estimated that there are 4 million Kenyans on the social media website, translating to slightly under 10% of the country’s population. In February this year, the estimated Facebook users in Kenya were 3.6 million users. Of the 4 million Kenyans on Facebook, only 35% are female translating to 1.4 million Kenyans. By age, majority of Kenyans on Facebook are those aged 18 and 24 years – that is mainly college going students at 40.5% followed closely by those aged between 25 and 34 years at 32%.

Facebook Users Kenya % of total
Total Users 4,000,000 100%
Male 2,600,000 65%
Female 1,400,000 35%
13-17 years 196,000 4.9%
18-24 years 1,620,000 40.5%
25-34 years 1,280,000 32%
35-44 years 380,000 9.5%
45 – 54 Years 134,000 3.35%
55 and older 360,000 9%

East Africa

In East Africa, of which I have included Ethiopia in that grouping, Kenya has the highest Facebook penetration at 9.1% with 4 million users. Ethiopia comes a distant second on number of users but it is Tanzania that takes the second spot in penetration rate at 4.3%. Although Rwanda has been hailed as the country with the fasted Internet penetration in recent years, Facebook usage does not seem to prove this as it has only 380,000 accounting for only 3.2% of the country’s population.

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The biggest surprise for me in East Africa is Ethiopia. Foremost I did not know that Ethiopia is such a highly populated country with more than 93 million people. Second, I have always rated Ethiopians so highly when it comes to development hence tech adoption hence Facebook use but at only 2.1% Facebook penetration, I really do not know what to say. I knew that the Ethiopian government is anti-social media including Facebook and blogging in general but I wouldn’t predict that her anti online social policies could greatly impact the usage of Facebook to this extent!

Central Africa

In Central Africa I have only take statistics of two countries namely Malawi and Zambia with Facebook usage rates of 2.6% and 5.7% respectively. The usage rates in these countries are within the East African African bracket of Facebook usage rates which are at 2.1% for Ethiopia and 9.1% for Kenya.

South Africa

We have to give it to our brothers in the South. Although a country like Botswana has only 480,000 Facebook users, given that the country has slightly under 2.2 million in population their Facebook usage rate is more than twice the level of use in Kenya; and that’s nothing compared to Facebook use in Mauritius which has 38.5% penetration at half a million users. South Africa that is boasting of the highest number of Facebook users in the South takes the third place with 21.1% in penetration rate.

The rest of Africa

Good news is that we are better placed compared to Nigeria who despite of having over 12 million Facebook users (majority of whom will comment on news outlet websites about car auctions and sugar mummies etc), their penetration is only 7.3%. Egyptians, although Arabs and Muslims hence expected to behave like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, are surprisingly liberal and have over 20 million Facebook users accounting for 23.1% Facebook penetration in that country.

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The rest of the world

So it is true Chinese do not identify with American products. Actually, it is one of the few countries that have shunned both Google and Facebook. The biggest search engine in China is not Google but Baidu with over 70% market share, followed by Qihoo 360 and Sogou/Soso. Likewise, the Chinese biggest social media site is not Facebook. Of the over 597 million active social media users in China, only 880,000, or 0.15%, can be found in Facebook. The rest of 99.85% of Chinese on social media can be found on sites such as Tencent’s QZone, Tencent’s Pengyou, Renren, and Kaixin.

The US and UK are very much on Facebook contributing 184 million and 36 million of Facebook users respectively. These figures account for 57.9% and 56.2% of Facebook penetration in those countries respectively.

Below are the tabulated figures on Facebook Statistics in Africa that I have discussed above. I hope you will find them useful in your social media campaigns. Stay tuned for a post on “How to use social media to drive sales faster”.

Total users Penetration
Kenya 4,000,000 9.1%
Tanzania 1,920,000 4.3%
Uganda 1,260,000 3.5%
Rwanda 380,000 3.2%
Ethiopia 1,960,000 2.1%
Malawi 420,000 2.6%
Zambia 820,000 5.7%
Botswana 480,000 22.8%
South Africa 11,200,000 21.1%
Mauritius 500,000 38.5%
Ghana 2,400,000 10%
Nigeria 12,800,000 7.3%
Egypt 20,000,000 23.1%
USA 184,000,000 57.9%
UK 36,000,000 56.2%
China 880,000 0.065%
India 108,000,000 8.9%
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