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49% of Namibians cannot access the internet. Those that can, pay too much

Can young Namibians improve their world without access to the internet?

Here are some sobering charts from the annual Media Trends 2022 Presentation that I curate for Tribe Fire Studios Namibia. Please take a close look as there is a huge opportunity for us to deliver solutions to address these issues. This data is relevant to every business, every school, every parent & every entrepreneur.

Namibia may have cellular broadband connections, but we are not "connected". There are two significant barriers to access:

  • internet speed

  • cost of data

51% of Namibians are currently internet users, much lower than the global average. To state the obvious : 49% of Namibians cannot access the internet at all. Something to think about in relation to the global trends in self - education, the passion & gig economies and the 4IR.

Comparison of global & Namibian adoption & use of connected devices & services
Comparison of global & Namibian adoption & use of connected devices & services

According to the latest We are Social Kepios Digital in Namibia 2022 report - the median age of the Namibian population is 21.9 years old and only 33% of the population uses social media, which should be much higher in a very young community.

Median age of the population highlighting African countries

Africa is falling behind in terms of internet adoption & it is not about coverage. As you can see South Africa is slightly above the global average with Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Namibia (at 51%) - well below the global average.

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity 2021 report shows that in sub-saharan Africa the coverage gap (meaning unconnected populations live in an area not covered by mobile broadband) is 18% which has improved significantly from 50% in 2014. The usage gap however is 53% (meaning they live within the footprint of a mobile broadband network but are not using mobile internet services).

Internet adoption in Namibia vs rest of the world & other African countries

According to the Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia's latest stats - there are 1.9 million mobile broadband subscriptions in the country & 123 000 ADSL connections. Only 61 000 of those lines > than 10mbps.

Comparison of internet, mobile & social media access in Namibia

Namibia's median download speeds are well below the global average at 19.89 Mbps. Download speeds are not sufficient to utilise the internet for learning & up-skilling purposes.

Mobile internet connection speeds globally vs Namibia

In this analysis of worldwide mobile data pricing by The average cost of one gigabyte (1GB) was calculated and compared from over 5,000 mobile data plans in 233 countries. Namibia ranks 222 out of 233 countries with the average gigabyte costing USD10.52 compared to the global average of USD3.12.

cost of mobile data in Namibia vs other global regions

Key takeaway:

It may appear that many Namibian's are connected & actively using the internet - however there are limitations to the amount of time & video format content they can consume due to expensive data & slow download speeds.

Within these constraints there are endless opportunities for us to come up with purpose driven solutions to bridge this digital divide.

To end here is a beautiful reminder of what purpose led business is all about.

To produce profitable solutions to the problems of people and planet, and not to profit from producing problems for people or planet.


The Media Trends presentation is an annual, curated look at all the global & local media trends ultimately influencing the media landscape & business in Namibia. Commissioned by TribeFire Studios Namibia and produced by Think Human Being. If you would like to find out more please get in touch.


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