This proves that less than half the number of people in the country is able to access the internet. It highlights that only 85.49 million Nigerians have internet access, some 42 per cent of the total population. Additionally, only 27 million of those internet-enabled Nigerians have social media accounts that they run actively.

This is according to the Digital 2020 Global Overview report.  The report provides, among other things, some insights into internet access and the global digital world. The report, compiled by ‘We Are Social and Hootsuite,’ also shows that digital, mobile, and social media have become a part of everyday life for people all over the world, including in Africa. According to the report, 169.2 million Nigerians have mobile (phone) connections.

This represents 83 percent penetration of the total population of 203.6 million people, of which 50 percent live in urban areas. The other key findings in the report can be summarised as follows; more than half the global population is online, 60% of the world is online. As highlighted in the report, global internet penetration has reached new heights as 298 million new members joined the online community in 2019. This means that 60 percent of the world is online. This brings global internet access to 4.54 billion people, indicating a seven percent increase from January 2019.

Of the 3.2 billion people who make up 40 percent of the world’s population that is still unconnected to the internet, Asia accounts for the bulk of that number with 1 billion still not connected to the internet. Africa comes next, accounting for 27 percent of the total with 870 million unconnected to the internet. Age and gender still a major factor for internet connection Africa has about 1.2 billion people. With 870 million without internet access, the continent only has about 400 million people connected to the internet.

This is far less than 50 percent of the total number of unconnected people. According to the report, one of the reasons for this is the fact that more than half the continent’s total population is below the age of 20. The situation is not very different in Southern Asia where more than 460 million people are below the age of 13. This demography accounts for a large fraction of 1 the billion unconnected people there. Gender is also a critical determinant of internet access.

According to data from the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, women are more likely to be ‘unconnected’ than men. This is largely due to cultural reasons which results in economic difference in continents like Africa and Asia. This gender gap, therefore, accounts for the large number of unconnected persons to the internet.


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