Digitalisation in North Africa: what is the current state of play?

The inter-penetration of digitalisation in North Africa varies greatly from country to country.


Algeria has a population of 40.72 million people, of which only 18 million have access to the Internet, resulting in a penetration rate of 44%. This number doesn’t change for active users of social media, but only 39% of the population (16 million) is also a user of mobile technology.

Since January 2016, there has been a net growth of +64%, a figure that translates into a growth of 7 million users more than the previous year. The influx of social media users grew at an equal pace with an increase of 6 million, double that of 2016. A further surprise is the growth of active social media users on mobile platforms: +70% over the course of last year and +4% of people who are involved in the world of mobile telephony.

Throughout 2016 in Algeria, there was a slight decline in users connecting through fixed devices and a strong increase in people who prefer smartphones (this category grew by 44% within a year).

Facebook is used by 18 million people and 89% of users do so via mobile. There is a very pronounced difference between the sexes: 63% of men compared to 37% of women. 53% of all mobile connections manage to use the 3G and 4G networks.


Egypt has a population of 94.30 million people and only 37% of those are Internet users. The positive news is that this entire figure also includes people who actively use social media, while 33% uses the network through mobile devices.

Over the last year, active users on social media grew by 25%, while Facebook had 35 million active users monthly.
Data on online commerce remains very low – only 11% of the population has made a purchase on ecommerce platforms via fixed or mobile devices.


Out of 6.37 million people, approximately 50% are regular active users of the most popular social media, with Facebook coming out on top. Over the course of last year, records showed a 33% increase in users including the mobile device sector, resulting in a growth rate of 66%.


Users of the Internet amount to approximately 58% of the Moroccan population, approximately 35 million people. Active users of social media grew by 27% in the last year and half of users browse the net via mobile platforms.


Sudan has a population of 41.67 million people; 11.09 of those people are Internet users, while 3.20 million people are active users of social media. In this country, the growth of social media users is growing very slowly with no pronounced changes recorded in comparison to the previous year.


The total population of Tunisia is 11.43 million people, the inter-penetration of web use is 56% of the total. The smartphone is very widely used: 49% of users access social networks on mobile devices.
Tunisia shows a positive trend: within the space of 2016, web users grew by 18%.


Out of a total population of 590.1 million people only 29 million, also present on social media, regularly use the web as a daily resource.
Compared to the previous year, web users grew by 7% while active social media users grew by 12%, and Facebook led the way with 29 thousand active users every month. Access to Facebook remains the domain of men, with 64% of male users and just 34% female.