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42% of Uganda's population now connected to internet

By Michael Kanaabi

Added 30th March 2020 09:41 AM

This according to the report has been boosted by the penetration of mobile phones in the country that reached about 20 million subscribers during the same period.

 42% of Uganda's population now connected to internet

Young Inovators like these ones at the Innovation Village Kampala are driving uptake of ICT and internet based services. (Photo by Michael Kanaabi)

This according to the report has been boosted by the penetration of mobile phones in the country that reached about 20 million subscribers during the same period.

TECHNOLOGY

A report by online retailer Jumia detailing mobile trends in the country by end of last year shows Uganda's internet penetration has reached 42% with up to 19 million Ugandans now connected to the internet out of the total estimated population of the country that stands at 44.5 million people.

This according to the report has been boosted by the penetration of mobile phones in the country that reached about 20 million subscribers during the same period.

However, the report points out that among internet users there was a 15% drop in social media users based on a survey done after the introduction of OTT tax in the country last year.

A survey conducted by White Head Communications to ascertain consumers' reaction to the social media tax showed that 40% of those interviewed actually paid the tax, 57% were using VPN and 38% were using WiFi.

Of those using WiFi, 86% were paying for themselves, 3% paid for by an employer, 3% by family, 3% by a spouse and 2 % by a friend.

Social media usage  

 Social media usage stood at 2.5 million representing a 5.6% penetration across the country which is still low compared to the 17% average usage across various countries on the continent. Users sampled in the research used  WhatsApp most with 98% affirming they use it, Facebook took 92%, 69% said they use twitter while Instagram had 62%.

The less-used networks included LinkedIn at 36%, Skype at 30%, 24% for Snap Chat, Google Hangouts 12%, Tinder 6% and Telegram 4%.

Other indicators

Smartphone prices have also gone down consistently in the country since 2014, a survey done by online retailer Jumia shows the average cost of a smartphone three years ago stood at about 165 dollars about sh. 600,000 and dropped to 82 dollars about sh. 300,000 a slightly over 50% drop.

 

Penetration of smart phones across the continent is expected to grow to over 690 million handsets by 2025 according to the report as prices continue to drop thanks largely to the influx of cheap Chinese branded smart phones on the market.

 

On the mobile commerce side of things the mobile phone was the most popular item traded through the Jumia Uganda app in terms of revenue and quantities sold with majority of the sales being around Kampala, Wakiso and Entebbe. Mobile phone accessories and tablets followed closely in pursuit.

 

Traffic to the Jumia online store remained largely driven via mobile according to the research as 54% came in through mobile web, 25% through the mobile application and the remaining 21% through the more traditional desk top.  With increasing smart phone ownership the mobile traffic is expected to grow further.

 

However there was a slump in traffic on the trading site to 21% over the past year or so. Chrome was the leading browser through which the site was accessed with a dominant 43% due to its popularity across board. Android web view came in next with 17% of the traffic and Opera Mini next with 10%, other browsers in total accounted for 30% usage.

 

This is in contrast with the mode of transactions where just about 5%-6% have been through mobile money and the rest through cash and pre-payments reminding us that hard cash and physical payments are still an integral part of business locally.              

 

 

 

       

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