No surprises from Google’s ‘Insights Africa: Internet Usage’ statistics


Google, in a partnership with Basis Research Ltd, has released an interactive data set based on survey data from 2010 and 2011. Google explained the basics behind the methodology on their Google Africa Blog:

It interviewed over 13,000 people in urban centres of 6 key African countries – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda – to understand how and why people use the internet, what prevents non-users from coming online, and much more.”

None of the findings are groundbreaking, but they are extremely interesting, nonetheless. The presentation of the data and ease of access are top-notch. Filters for country, age, gender, and user-status, along with multiple layout options are simple, yet powerful. As is the ability to export in .xls, .csv, .png, and .pptx file formats. Hopefully the inviting layout and colors can attract those new to African Internet data to have a look at a snapshot of African Internet usage habits. This seems to be the main goal of the project.

Like TechZim, we wish there were more countries with survey data, especially considering how Google markets the resource as “Insights Africa: Sub-Saharan Africa”. The real title should be “Insights Africa: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Uganda”.

One other point worth noting is the relevancy of data. These days, a survey becomes outdated the day it is conducted. In this case, half of the survey data is from 2010; the other half is nearly a year old. Any data is better than no data, but keep in mind some of the trends (ie. how long ago a user first started using the Internet) are based on an Internet scene from two years ago.