Nobody wants slow internet. In Zimbabwe, we all dream of having that awesome home internet connection that allows us to stream to our heart’s content, download gigabytes in seconds and video chat with friends and family without issues. Unfortunately, the reality is that we don’t always get what we want.
Zimbabweans always complain of slow internet connections and not getting what they paid for but. Is this true? How well do we compare with other African countries? Which African country has the fastest internet and which has the slowest? Well, wonder no more. According to a report titled Worldwide Broadband Speed League published by cable.co.uk, Zimbabwe landed the 16th position out of 49 other Sub-Saharan countries.
Internet speed rankings
|Rank in Sub-Saharan Africa||Rank in the world||Country||Mean download speed (Mbps)|
|4||120||Republic of the Congo||12.07|
|11||144||United Republic of Tanzania||8.60|
|37||204||São Tomé and Príncipe||2.43|
As it turns out the country with the slowest internet, Turkmenistan is not even in Africa. They have an average speed of about 0.5 Mbps. The country with the second slowest internet is also not in Africa. War-torn Yemen has an average internet speed of about 0.68 Mbps. That’s understandable with war and famine they have other things on their minds besides the internet. Ethiopia is the country with the slowest internet speed in Sub-Saharan Africa while France’s Reunion Islands have the best speeds.
That outside Harare factor
The thing with averages like this is that they tend to hide certain facts. While speeds in most parts of Harare are okay once you leave the capital you are in for a rude awakening. The speeds are so slow in some small towns and rural areas you will not even be able to load the speed test page. That means the average internet speed for Zimbabwe is probably higher than it should be as it only records speed tests from well to do towns with good connectivity.
So just because the average internet speed for Zimbabwe is not horrible (7Mbps is actually a good speed for most purposes) it doesn’t automatically mean that all Zimbabweans are getting good internet. It’s all about location and the options at your disposal. If you are lucky you can get fibre or LTE. If not you are stuck with 2G or ADSL. While ADSL offers good speeds in remote areas it’s often affected by unpredictable downtime.