Data charges in East Africa are among the cheapest in Africa according to a report released by Research ICT Africa.
According to the report, they compared prices of the 1GB daily data bundle in 45 African countries.
Tanzania charges the lowest in East africa at Sh218 per 1GB, Rwanda at Sh220, Kenya at Sh244, Uganda at Sh273 and Burundi Sh302 as at September 2019.
Mozambique is the third cheapest country to buy data, with 1GB costing Sh197 on average while Tunisia comes in second at Sh178 .
Egypt, which charges Sh121 for 1GB is top jn Africa with the lowest data prices.
Data is, however not a priority for many Africans as food security, low income and tough economic times make people prioritize other things.
Swaziland, now known as eSwatini has the highest data prices at Sh2,139 with Zimbabwe upclose with data prices of Sh2,000 per GB.
This loosely translates to Sh100 for every 50MB of data.
Seychelles follows at Sh1,787 per 1GB, followed by Guinea-Bissau at Sh1,695 Chad closed the top five expensive bracket at Sh1,187.
The next highest was Seychelles at Sh1,787, followed by Guinea-Bissau at Sh1,695 and finally Chad at Sh1,187 per 1GB.
According to the report, these charges sound high, but the truth is that they have become even more affordable, when compared to past years of the decade.
At the end of 2015, for instance, if you lived in Seychelles you would have paid Sh4,739 for 1 Gigabyte of data, while citizens of Guinea-Bissau paid Sh5,829 in 2017 and the new state of South Sudan charged Sh13,370 as it struggled with economic teething problems towards the end of 2016.
The report says West Africa’s prices were variable, with low prices in Guinea (Sh220), Nigeria (Sh278) while Benin, Niger and Senegal all charged Sh339 in Quarter 3 of 2019.
The price is higher in countries such as Sierra Leone (Sh656) and Togo (Sh848), and some of the most expensive data across the continent were in West Africa — for example Guinea-Bissau (Sh1,695), Chad (Sh1187) and Mauritania (Sh978).
South Africa ranked 16th out of the 45 countries researched in terms of the most expensive data, at Sh681 per Gbyte. However, this is a lot cheaper than it was in early 2014, when 1 gigabyte of data cost Sh1,406.
According to the stats, Southern Africa had a mix of the cheapest prices in Mozambique (Sh197) and Zambia (Sh270) and the most expensive in eSwatini (Sh2,139) and Zimbabwe (Sh2,000).
According to the World Bank, the global cost of 1 GB of data target is 2 percent of monthly income, but East Africans who comparatively enjoy affordable mobile internet, consume 4 percent of their income to purchase data bundles.
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