Zimbabwe in top 5 African countries with fastest download speeds

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

Current download speeds rankings for Africa by Ookla, show that Zimbabwe is now in the top 5 Africa countries with the fastest broadband download speeds on the continent. Ookla runs the popular internet speed testing website, Speedtest.net, and uses the millions of tests carried out on the platform to show the current global rankings for consumer broadband speeds.

According to the report, Zimbabwe’s average speed is now 3.05 Megabits per second (Mbps). The speed represents the moving average throughput over the past 30 days and shows only where the average distance between the client (from where the speed test is run) and the server is less than about 480 kilometers.

Being a rolling average means the broadband speed shown is used by Ookla to smooth out short-term fluctuations and highlight longer-term download speed trends. It is not unusual therefore for any country’s rating to move slightly up and down each day.

Countries ahead of Zimbabwe in the top 5 as of today are Ghana, Kenya, Angola and Rwanda, which have download speeds of 5.16 Mbps, 4.98Mbps, 4.53 Mbps and 3.29 Mbps respectively. Some countries that usually make it to the top 5, like South Africa and Libya, didn’t make when we capture the statistics this morning. The two scored download speeds of 2.98 Mbps and 2.85 Mbps respectively.

Here’s a table of Africa’s top 10 fastest download speeds prepared from the stats we captured.

Seychelles and Senegal two countries with significantly high internet penetration, (reportedly 38% and 15.7% respectively in December 2011) are curiously missing from the Ookla rankings.

Zimbabwe has had major improvements in international bandwidth connectivity over the past 2 years with 4 operators now running a live fibre connections to undersea cable providers. Local terrestrial fibre networks are also increasingly being laid with all cities now connected to a fibre cable running to a major operator. In addition, the installation of last mile fibre to the business and to the home, as well as wireless connections via 3G, WiMax and CDMA has also accelerated since the end of the country’s hyperinflation period in 2009.

The table is an adapted version of one created and posted by Techloy, a Nigerian tech blog.



  1. JamesM

    The last line “The table is an adapted version of one created and posted by Techloy, a Nigerian tech blog”, pretty-much sums-up this article and is the only line in the article that is credible. Everything else is not worth reading.

    1. kmberi

      The factual accuracy of the Techloy table is not in question as that is in fact what Ookla reported perhaps the statistical basis employed by Ookla is what might be questionable

    2. L.S.M. Kabweza


  2. Splitz

    this is more about availability and cost than anything….

  3. Blessingd136

    This is like being told that you are not really hungry. As far as research has shown you are actually quite full.

  4. DuwayneGoddard

    Ok so what? we still have sh*t speeds in the sum of things, its like we are best in the sh*tty group!

  5. James Ritala

    My 2cents worth. Our broadband is super fast. Cool. But at what cost??? It’s very fast and so so fast it uses up your money in minutes…

  6. WinstonD

    this is the most suprsing piece i have read in a while.

  7. Bmtengwa

    I have been all over Africa LM, Zim is far below, Botswana, Mauritius, South Africa, Morroco and Even, besides if you do the math well, combining all the bandwidth the IAPs together, its far 100 Times ;less than what Telkom SA is bringing into SA, not to mention that  Zim gets bandwidth from TDM of Mozambique via Powertel and TelOne, then from Telkom SA via Liquid and Powertel via BTC which also gets it from Telkom SA. so the Article is misleading

    1. L.S.M. Kabweza

      I don’t think that us getting international bandwidth supplied from SA, Botswana and Mozambique directly translates to us having poorer end user internet speeds than the three countries supplying us.

      The Internet speed that USERS experience depends more on other things like the last mile connection type between the user and their ISP, i.e. is it fibre, copper, UHF, WiMax, CDMA, Wi-Fi etc… Also depends how many customers the ISP has put on the same bandwidth ‘pipe’.

      In terms of the total amount of bandwidth coming into the country, well it may be less than South Africa’s but it may have a far less number of users on it. 
      A hypothetical example: If say South Africa has total 30 Gbps coming into their country but manage to exhaust it (Video Conferencing, Entertainment video, Internet gaming, Corporate stuff etc…) then the many end users of the internet in SA will definitely experience slower speed than the fewer users in a Zimbabwe that has say total 6 Gbps coming into the country that’s not being exhausted.

      The download speeds referred to in the article are those recorded by user tests on speedtest.net, which I’m sure even you use for speed tests. 
      It’s not about how much bandwidth total is coming into the country. If this were about that, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique (among others) would be at the top of the list.

      1. Nerudo

         Zim wins by the number of users. Internet is still heell expensive which prunes the chuff of users torenting 😀 unlike here in SA. zIM IS A TINY COUNTRY nonetheless

    2. L.S.M. Kabweza

      Here’s another report on the issue by TechCentral: Zimbabwe trumps SA in Internet speeds

  8. KuraiMGT

    Positive news for the motherland at last! Gives the impression, even we maybe still behind a couple of countries in what maybe realistic, we are in hot pursuit. I bet we are in the top 20, whichever way you dice it. huhaaaa

    1. Nerudo

       Good things bad thing. What those simply means is in ZIM there are less connected people simple. That means Internet is heelll expensive and is still a luxurious service. So actually those stats are Bad 😀

  9. Petros Ruwocha

    I am not at all surprised by this article because I, for one, have experienced browsing speeds way faster than anything I ever experienced in RSA. This has been so for about 3 weeks now, and consistently so, I must add. Since the advent of fibre optic, it has taken longer than I expected, but I am assuming that bandwidth providers have decided to do the logical thing – increase bandwidth two-fold or three-fold, for the same rental.

    1. Nerudo

      Lets not forget SA has quite qualitable connections and these stats might be biased to the numbers. This doesnt not mean ZW has better internet compared to SA nooooo not at all.