Africans embracing mobile internet

Africans are among the world’s top users of the internet on their mobile phones. That is if Opera’s latest State of the Mobile Web report is anything to go by. Opera specialises in the development of internet browsers for mobile phones.

In June 2011, Nigeria was the world’s fourth largest market using the mobile-based Opera Mini browser, while South Africa was in seventh place.

The top ten African countries using Opera’s browser, in order of the number of users, were: Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Morocco.

In Nigeria, the ten most visited websites include Google and Yahoo, social network Facebook as well as local newspaper Vanguard and football portal

The top ten sites in Nigeria, by unique users, were:


Nokia is by far the most popular handset brand among Opera’s African users. All the top ten handsets for June 2011 in Nigeria where Nokia branded models. In some countries, such as Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, certain Samsung models also enjoy popularity. Only in Ethiopia is Apple’s iPhone among the top ten handsets.

According to Opera, the number of people who use mobile phones to access the internet is increasing. On Device Research found that in South Africa, India and Indonesia, at least 40% of mobile internet users never, or infrequently, use a desktop computer to go online.

It is estimated that there are currently 2 billion mobile internet devices, including tablets, in use today. According to Morgan Stanley, this figure will increase to 10 billion by 2020.